The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Jazz Age classic, has been adapted for the screen a number of times. Sure, you remember the 1974 one with Robert Redford and Mira Farrow and Baz Luhrmann’s 3-D stab, with Leonardo DiCaprio, but what about the 2000 TV one with Mira Sorvino as Daisy and Paul Rudd as Nick? Still, it’s never been turned into a full-flung TV limited series before, and with good reason: It doesn’t even break the 200-page mark.
But that’s about to change. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Michael Hirst — known for various historical stuff, like the Cate Blanchett Elizabeth films, The Tudors, and Vikings — is turning Fitzgerald’s tome into a TV show. But there’s a twist: It won’t be a straight adaptation of the tale of a mysterious, party-throwing millionaire obsessed with a woman who loves money. Instead it will re-imagine it as a look into African-American culture during the same time:
Hirst’s Gatsby will explore New York’s Black community in the 1920s as well as the musical subculture. Columbia University’s William B. Ransford professor of English and comparative literature and African-American studies Farah Jasmine Griffin will also serve as a consultant on the series. She will work directly with Hazard and Hirst on the drama. Described as a reimagining, the series will dig deeper into the hidden lives of its characters through the modern lens of a fractured American dream while also capturing the full majesty of Fitzgerald’s timeless vision.
All in all it doesn’t sound too different from HBO’s acclaimed Lovecraft Country, which also used a piece of classic white art to tell the history of African-Americans in the 20th century. On the other hand, it may get “Ain’t We Got Fun” lodged in our heads all over again.