‘The Great Gatsby’ Book to Movie: 5 Key Differences
If you haven’t already, you’re going to know a whole bunch of gripes about “The Great Gatsby” movie out this weekend. And the biggest of them all will likely have something to do with how faithful it was to the classic F. Scott Fitzgerald novel.
Needless to say, there are some major changes. But there are significant changes in “Iron Man” when put up against the comic books — sometimes change is necessary, and even good. Then again, sometimes they’re not.
We’ve narrowed it down to five key differences between Baz Luhrmann’s adaptation and the Fitzgerald text (other than that whole Jay-Z thing) so you can be mentally prepared, for better or for worse.
Nick Carraway is in a sanitarium.
While it’s never abundantly clear that narrator Nick Carraway (Tobey Maguire) is “writing” the book you’re reading, he’s certainly not writing it from a sanitarium. In the text, Fitzgerald merely alludes to Nick as the scribe — within the first couple paragraphs, he describes Gatsby as “the man who gives his name to this book” — but doesn’t say so explicitly. In the film, Nick is writing from a sanitarium, where he’s checked himself in sometime following his summer with Gatsby and has been diagnosed as a “morbid alcoholic,” among other things.
Viewers are introduced to this concept in the very beginning and also see the point at which Nick begins to write the manuscript. Additionally, Luhrmann often flashes forward to Maguire to remind them that he’s a writer. Of course, this isn’t the first time the director has taken such a storytelling approach — “Moulin Rouge” was also told from the perspective of a writer, and both films frequently show their would-be authors pecking away at a typewriter.
Lastly, one of the movie’s final images is Nick adding “The Great” to the title of his finished “Gatsby” manuscript with a flourish. The book, however, leaves its reader only with the juicy final image of “So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”
Nick and Jordan Baker were definitely a thing.
In the movie, prepare to see Nick and chic golfer Jordan Baker (Elizabeth Debicki) flirt but never actually hook up — Nick’s just too smitten with Gatsby to notice her. The novel, however, has them strike up a hot little fling.
"I put my arm around Jordan’s golden shoulder and drew her toward me and asked her to dinner," Fitzgerald wrote following their tea date, later adding, "I drew up the girl beside me, tightening my arms. Her wan, scornful mouth smiled, and so I drew her up again closer, this time to my face."
Seeing as Nick then writes about getting home at 2 a.m., that seemed to have worked out pretty well for him.
DiCaprio and Maguire in ‘The Great Gatsby’ (Warner Bros.)
Jay Gatsby makes a grand entrance.
Actually, this is true of both the book and the film, but you can’t exactly have Nick unknowingly interacting with Gatsby when he’s played by Leonardo DiCaprio. The jig would be up.
In the novel, Nick is at one of Gatsby’s big bashes when he strikes up a conversation with “a man of about my age.” They swap war stories and make plans for the next day until Nick confesses that he has yet to meet the host of the party. “I’m Gatsby,” he says. “I thought you knew, old sport. I’m afraid I’m not a very good host.”
Racism and anti-Semitism has been removed.
Much has already been written about the casting of Indian actor Amitabh Bachchan as the Jewish Meyer Wolfsheim, but we agree with Slate that faithfulness to the text would have been downright anti-Semitic. After all, Fitzgerald describes him in decidedly less than flattering terms: “A small, flat-nosed Jew raised his large head and regarded me with two fine growths of hair which luxuriated in either nostril.”
Tom Buchanan (Joel Edgerton) was also notoriously racist, spouting off about a book called “Rise of the Colored Empires” and otherwise. Needless to say, this is one change we applaud Luhrmann for.
Gatsby died thinking he was a winner.
Don’t worry — it’s still George Wilson (Jason Clarke) who kills Gatsby, he’s still lonely and pitiful, and his pool is still involved. It’s just the phone that’s quite a bit different in the new movie.
In both, our anti-hero is waiting for a call from Daisy and decides to go for a swim. While the book has him climbing aboard a float, his butler waiting for the call “until long after there was any one to give it to if it came,” and his chauffeur hearing the shots, the movie takes a much more showy approach. Instead, Gatsby takes a dive into the water and steps out as the phone rings. Wilson takes his shot at that very moment and Gatsby dies thinking he may have gotten the girl, that Daisy (Carey Mulligan) was calling to say she was leaving Tom and running away with him.
Of course, audiences know differently: that it was only Nick on the phone.
The Earth is apparently still in need of shield from the scum of the universe as Sony Pictures has hired a screenwriter to pen “Men in Black 4,” the follow-up to last summer’s sci-fi comedy hit.
Sony is undoubtedly cashing in on the success of 2012’s “Men in Black 3,” which scored a worldwide box office gross of over $624 million — a series best after the $441 million take of 2002’s “Men in Black II” and the $589 million take of 1997’s “Men in Black.” However, a “Men in Black” film is never an easy — or inexpensive — project to take on, as there are extensive backend participation deals with Smith, director Barry Sonnenfeld and executive producer Steven Spielberg.
Sony has brought on one of its new favorite scribes, Oren Uziel, to write the fourth installment of the highly lucrative franchise, which will continue the adventures of (presumably) Agent J (Will Smith) and K (either Tommy Lee Jones or Josh Brolin, depending on what time period you happen to be in). Actually, the details of the project are vague at best, as it’s unidentified if either Smith or Jones will actually be returning, and Brolin and “MiB3” star Emma Thompson currently don’t have deals to reprise their roles.
Oren Uziel will take on writing duties on “Men in Black 4” after he finishes his polish job on the script for “21 Jump Street 2,” which was originally written by Jonah Hill and Michael Bacall. Sony’s keeping the plot details undercover but presumably we’ll be seeing Schmidt (Hill) and Jenko (Channing Tatum) on some college-based assignment rather than high school this time around. Phil Lord and Chris Miller are back as directors and Sony has already set a release date of June 6, 2014.
Sony is also currently developing Uziel’s monster mash-up, “The Kitchen Sink,” a script that appeared on the 2010 Black List of Hollywood’s best unproduced screenplays. Nicholas Braun, Mackenzie Davis and Josh Fadem are currently attached to the film that features a pair of teens who form an alliance with vampires and zombies to take on an army of invading aliens.
No projected release date for “Men in Black 4” has been announced, though the producers better not take ten years again if they want Tommy Lee Jones to star in it.
Have you been feeling a comedic void in your life? One that was occupied weekly by a witty, multi-talented, immensely-likable funny lady? Join the alliance, because we’ve been missing Kristen Wiig too. It just feels like we should be seeing her in more things, more often.
The preview offers up a hint at how Imogene’s mother’s creative parenting choices likely influenced her daughter for the worse, and what likely follows is the story of a woman learning to forgive and forget and forge on. In addition to a movie centered around Wiig’s talents, we also have the unique performances from Bening and Dillon to look forward to. Plus there’s a short moment in the trailer that features a singing and dancing Criss, which when it makes sense for the story is always welcome in our opinion.
"Girl Most Likely," which premiered at the Toronto Film Festival last year under the title "Imogene," is the funny and heartwarming tale of a once-promising-but-now-broken playwright Imogene (Wiig) who suffers a nervous breakdown is forced to move in with her irresponsible mother (Annette Bening), her mother’s oddball and much younger boyfriend (Matt Dillon) and a young man renting Wiig’s childhood room ("Glee" star Darren Criss).
[Wiig] once again proves her worth,” wrote Playlist critic Christopher Schobert. “Whether smuggling a library book under her old phys ed shirt or weeping in the rain on a broken chair, she is adorable, heartfelt and smart. Bening is typically wonderful, of course. She’s been on a heckuva run during the past few years, and her role in “Imogene” plays to her acerbic strengths. Quite simply, the pair, and their co-stars, elevate the material.”
Early reviews of the film suggest that if you’re a fan of Wiig, as well as her A-list co-stars, you’ll enjoy “Girl Most Likely.”
"Girl Most Likely" opens in select theaters on July 19. In the meantime you can further fill your Wiig void by watching her return to her old stomping grounds when she hosts "Saturday Night Live" on May 11.
Everything You Need to Know About ‘The Host’ Star Saoirse Ronan’s Name
She has an Oscar nod for her breakthrough turn in 2007’s “Atonement.” She was specially selected by Peter Jackson as the purgatory-dwelling girl from “The Lovely Bones” (2009) and made a perfect young assassin in “Hanna” (2011).
You might recognize Saoirse Ronan’s face. You might even recognize her name. But even the 18-year-old actress, who is now starring in “The Host,” admits you might not know how to say it and that’s OK.
"I like it," she tells Yahoo! Movies. "It’s like my own little stage name … that no one can pronounce."
Ronan says her first name has been butchered as “Sowers,” “Source-say,” “Sorsha,” “Sar-say,” “Soo-see,” “Say-ice,” and “Soyers.”
Saoirse means freedom or liberty in Irish Gaelic. The word itself has been around only since the 1920s and has become a popular name for Irish girls in recent years.
So how do you say it? Ronan explains that her name really can be pronounced a few different ways: “SIR-shah,” which is how most people, including her “Host” cast mates, address her, or “SEER-shah,” which is the preferred form in her native Ireland. And if you want to get really fancy, Ronan may even let you get away with “SHEER-sha” (some baby-naming guides claim as proper pronunciation). “I didn’t like it when I was younger because nobody had that name,” Ronan told us.
As for its origins?
In Ireland, Ronan is now pretty famous. So famous, it has caused some problems. Her father, Paul Ronan, told us that she could no longer attend school because she became the subject of intense inquiry — and, yes, even some bullying. (He cited one example of her coat being stolen.) The Ronans decided to home school their daughter, which seems a wise decision for a teen who has six more films coming out after “The Host.”
'The Host' Insider Access with Saoirse Ronan:
Taking the Bella (Kristen Stewart)-Edward (Robert Pattinson)-Jacob (Taylor Lautner) “Twilight” love triangle to the next level, “The Host” depicts a love square — in which Ronan’s duel characters fall in love with two striking young men played by Max Irons (Jeremy Irons’ son) and Jake Abel. “There were definitely a few jokes that I was the butt of,” Ronan said. “I was kissing Jake one day and I was kissing Max the next day — over and over again.” Irons noted Ronan’s high level of professionalism, but, “when the camera stops rolling, you can have a laugh [with her].”
In “The Host,” Ronan take part in a human named Melanie Stryder who has been infected with an alien being called Wanderer that takes over her body. At times Stryder can take control of her invader — kind of like what Lily Tomlin did to Steve Martin in the 1984 comedy “All of Me” — a comparison “Host” author and creator Stephenie Meyer (who also wrote a little saga called “Twilight”) agrees with.
"The Host," in theaters March 29, marks Ronan’s first time playing a romantic lead.
Nicole Kidman Will Be ‘Grace Of Monaco’ in Theaters This December
More than three decades after her untimely death at the age of 52, movie fanaticss are still in love with Grace Kelly. And the Weinstein Company seems certain that love could add up to some serious box office returns and awards season recognition.
The Weinstein Company announced Monday that they have protected American distribution rights to “Grace Of Monaco,” in which Nicole Kidman plays the luminously beautiful movie star who became a real-life princess after marrying Prince Rainier III of Monaco (played in the film by Tim Roth). The movie was directed by Olivier Dahan, whose 2007 picture “La Vie En Rose” (about the life of the great French singer Edith Piaf) won international acclaim and earned leading lady Marion Cotillard an Academy Award as Best Actress.
"Grace In Monaco" depicts an episode in Grace’s life during the 1960s in which both her marriage and the stability of Monaco were hanging in the balance, as differences with her husband coincided with a standoff between France and Monaco. Prince Albert II of Monaco has been critical of the film’s screenplay, and Monaco’s royal family released an announcement reading in part, "It recounts one rewritten and needlessly glamorized page in the history of Monaco and its family with both major historical inaccuracies and a series of purely fictional scenes."
"The royal family wishes to stress that this film in no way constitutes a biopic," they added.
In a statement, TWC co-chairman Harvey Weinstein said, “More than thirty years after her death, Grace Kelly’s story continues to be one of insurmountable allure, and we are so happy Olivier Dahan has brought it new life. As always, Nicole Kidman’s commanding performance is the perfect portrait of a woman who was not only royalty but who also remains a legend of the silver screen and fashion icon.”
Weinstein has a standing for shrewd campaigning for his movies during Oscar season, and during his tenure as head at Miramax, he helped promote “The English Patient,” “Shakespeare In Love,” and “Good Will Hunting” into Best Picture winners. After co-founding TWC, Weinstein helped do the same for “The King’s Speech” and “The Artist.” With “Grace Of Monaco” scheduled for a late-December release, Weinstein may well believe this project has just the sort of allure that will add another Oscar to his trophy case (and a few bucks to the studio’s bank account).
Kidman said in an interview, saying, “This is not a biopic or a fictionalized documentary of Grace Kelly, but only a small part of her life where she reveals her great humanity as well as her fears, and weaknesses.”
Director Dahan also weighed in. “I am not a journalist or historian,” he said in response to the royal family’s statement. “I am an artist. I have not made a biopic. I hate biopics in general. I have done, in any subjectivity, a human portrait of a modern woman who wants to reconcile her family, her husband, her career. But who will quit her career and invent another role. And it will be painful.” Dahan added, “I understand their point of view. After all, it is their mother. I do not want to provoke anyone. Only to say that it’s cinema.”
The trouble with ‘Trouble with the Curve’
Baseball movie “Trouble with the Curve” took a huge swing and a miss at the box office this weekend. It performed way below analyst expectations, bringing in $12.7 million instead of a predicted $18 million, landing in third place — just a few hundred thousand dollars behind “End of Watch” and “House at the End of the Street.”
But the trouble with “Trouble” is not what you might first expect. And yes, I’m referring to Clint Eastwood’s now infamous empty chair speech.
"Trouble" is the first film Eastwood has starred in — that he hasn’t directed — since 1993 action film "In the Line of Fire." But that doesn’t seem to be the issue as that film had a strong opening and wound up netting a healthy $102.3 million domestically.
You could blame it on Eastwood’s widely-mocked Republican National Convention speech wherein he addressed an empty chair. But Dergarabedian says it’s not that simple. The effect Eastwood’s RNC speech had on his film’s opening is “almost impossible to quantify,” he says, adding, “I personally think that this performed about the same as it would have regardless of the empty chair speech…. for every potential moviegoer he turned off on the left, he may have gained one on the right.”
Also starring Justin Timberlake and Amy Adams, “Trouble” is a film about a father’s relationship with his daughter, set against the backdrop of baseball. It was placed to open just in time for major league playoffs, but that didn’t seem to help the film along during an overall weak box office weekend. “‘Curve’ fell victim to a slow overall marketplace and a lack of any momentum after four slow weeks at the nation’s theaters,” says industry analyst Paul Dergarabedian.
"Eastwood’s movies typically draw an older demo[graphic] who don’t rush out opening weekend and then build an audience over time," Dergarabedian points out. But with just a B+ from CinemaScore — which measures movie appeal among audiences — and a weak 51 percent Rotten Tomatoes score among movie critics, it’s quite a stretch to compare "Trouble with the Curve" to Eastwood’s Oscar winner "Million Dollar Baby" (2004) and his "Gran Tarino" (2008) — both of which expanded based on word of mouth, and both of which topped $100 million.
Just think about it: Americans have made their pick — and their choice appeals to a growing thirst for bodies slamming into each other in the sport of football. While we’re in the midst of baseball playoffs, NFL season opening games are completely dominating in not just sports television ratings, but overall television ratings. By comparison, Forbes writer Leigh Steinberg points out, “Baseball has slower rhythms. It is an experience passed down from fathers to sons and needs history and context to be fully enjoyed. It is a sport that is played at a more leisurely pace that doesn’t fit contemporary taste quite as well.”
Beyond its cool reception from critics, the real trouble with “Trouble” seems to be that Americans just don’t care about baseball anymore… and they haven’t for a while. The last baseball film to crack the $100 million mark, according to Box Office Mojo, was “A League of Their Own” all the way back in 1992. While “Moneyball” in 2011 was critically acclaimed — and nominated for six Oscars — it only made $75.6 million domestically.
Football films have also had much more success than baseball films over the past twenty years. Titles like “The Blind Side,” “The Waterboy,” “The Longest Yard,” “Remember the Titans” — all raked in more than $100 million (and “The Blind Side,” which earned Sandra Bullock an Oscar, made a whopping $256 million).
Perhaps if Eastwood played a football scout, it would have gone down differently.
‘Thor’ star’s scary on-set injury
Even warrior goddesses have a bad day at the office from time to time.
Jaimie Alexander, who plays Thor’s strong lady sidekick Sif, suffered a pretty scary injury on Monday in London while she was walking on the set of “Thor: The Dark World.”
The 28-year-old actress tweeted:
Later she added more twitter commentary, saying, “Already in recovery mode and my spirits are high. I’ll be back kicking ass as Lady Sif in no time! It can only get better from here on out!” And on Tuesday one of her tweets made mention of her expected “speedy recovery” and that she is seeing “another specialist.”
She also added fun details:
Alexander slipped as she was walking on the set while it was raining, according to her publicist Craig Schneider, who wouldn’t reveal the exact nature of her injury. He noted that her injury is not, by any means, putting a halt on the production of “Thor,” and noted that it “worked out” since the film was forced to work around the rain anyway, and that they were able to move the shooting schedule to accommodate Alexander’s recovery.
No harm no foul — to the movie, anyhow.
"Thor: The Dark World" is showing in theaters November 8, 2013.