8 Decades of The Hollywood Reporter
The most glamorous and memorable moments from a storied history
Let's hope Baz Luhrmann has better luck with his version of The Great Gatsby, currently filming in Australia and due in 2012, than director Jack Clayton did with his in 1974. That adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's masterpiece was arguably that year's most awaited and hyped movie. Robert Redford (coming off a megahit with The Sting) and Mia Farrow (post-marriage to Frank Sinatra, pre-relationship with Woody Allen) starred as glamorously thwarted 1920s lovers. Francis Ford Coppola wrote the screenplay. Clayton (Room at the Top) was considered an ace at adapting literary works to film, but neither the stars nor the publicity could save it from a critical drubbing. The Hollywood Reporter's review praised the director's previous work but called the movie "slow, depressing and pretentiously symbolic." When THR recently asked then-Paramount chief Robert Evans if the finished film was the one he wanted to make, he said, "It never is." He added that he has "mixed emotions" about the movie and notes the $7 million pic was profitable (it took in $26.5 million domestically) but over-marketed as "a branding vehicle for women's wear." (The Ralph Lauren-designed costumes set off a Jazz Age fashion trend.) There had been talk of making the film with his ex-wife Ali MacGraw and Warren Beatty, but Evans stands by the casting. "Mia was good," he says. "And Redford was interesting." Evans says he has spoken with Luhrmann about his upcoming version, which stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Carey Mulligan; "Don't let marketing make it a branding holiday," was his advice. Adds Evans: "We made a damn good picture. However, Baz Luhrmann is going to make a great picture."