Joel Edgerton, Luke Evans Square Off for Key 'Great Gatsby' Role (Exclusive)

3:14 PM PST 05/14/2011 by Borys Kit

Baz Luhrman has tested both actors to play Tom Buchanan, a part once eyed by Ben Affleck

Baz Luhrmann is zeroing in on his Tom Buchanan for the all-star adaptation of The Great Gatsby, being made in 3D by Warner Bros.

Insiders say Joel Edgerton and Luke Evans took part in readings for the role late in the week. No decision has been made, however, as to who ultimately gets it.

Buchanan is one of the key chracters in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s story of love and discontentment among the rich in lavish 1920s Long Island, New York. Leonardo DiCaprio is attached to play the wealthy and mysterious Jay Gatsby, while Tobey Maguire is playing Nick Carraway, who in the novel is the narrator. Carey Mulligan is playing Gatsby’s love, Daisy Buchanan, who is married to Tom Buchanan, a wealthy man having an affair with a mistress (Isla Fisher) in the city.

Ben Affleck circled the role earlier this year but ultimately couldn’t make the dates work with Argo, the political thriller that will be his next directorial effort. That movie is eyeing a September start while Gatsby is heading for a start in August.

Both Edgerton and Evans are among a group of increasingly sought-after male actors who often compete for similar roles. With Gatsby, either of these actors could end up working with A-listers on an Oscar-level prestige period movie.

Edgerton, an Australian, is only now making serious headway into Hollywood productions, despite playing Owen Lars in the last Star Wars trilogy. He has two movies in post, Disney’s The Odd Life of Timothy Green and Universal’s prequel The Thing, in the can. His name has also surfaced in connection with Kathryn Bigelow's Navy Seal project. He is repped by CAA, Markham Froggatt and Irwin, and Shanahan Management.

Evans, born in Wales, has appeared in Clash of the Titans and Tamara Drewe, and is poised for real notice playing Aramis in Paul W.S. Anderson’s adaptation of The Three Musketeers and playing Zeus opposite Henry Cavill in Tarsem Singh’s Immortals. He also stars opposite John Cusack in the Edgar Allan Poe thriller The Raven. He is repped by WME, United and Luber Roklin Management.

Email: Borys.Kit@THR.com

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