When fans of The Great Gatsby found out that divisive filmmaker Baz Luhrmann would direct this spring’s highly anticipated adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s legendary novel, reactions were mixed. Some film lovers embrace Luhrmann’s sheer excess; it worked well enough for Romeo and Juliet, so why worry about flubs like Australia? Others, however, had different aspirations for the movie that might just get leading man Leo DiCaprio his ever-evasive Oscar. So, what about the Gatsby adaptations that could have been? Read on for a short list of other directors who might have succeeded at filming one of the most acclaimed American novels of all time, from Scorsese to Spielberg.
Thanks to his track record, Joe Wright’s bound to be on the shortlist for any possible adaptation of a classic novel, particularly if it features rich people and a nice historical setting. Wright’s the man behind the straightforward, gorgeous takes on Pride and Prejudice and Atonement, set in late-18th-century and World War II-era England, respectively (conveniently, Gatsby‘s Roaring Twenties just so happens to be right in between the two). Interestingly, however, Wright’s recently taken a turn away from the by-the-book interpretation: his Anna Karenina, helped along by Tom Stoppard’s script, used a set reminiscent of an actual theater. His take on Gatsby could either be more true to the original or more wildly inventive than Luhrmann’s, and it would be thrilling to see which route he’d take.