Baz Luhrmann’s on-again-off-again-on-again adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic The Great Gatsby may not have a set release date or a complete cast, but it does have every leading man in Hollywood chasing it. Leonardo DiCaprio has long been set to play Jay Gatsby in a much-anticipated reunion with his Romeo and Juliet director while his best friend and fellow A-lister Tobey Maguire will likely play Nick Carraway. Now, word comes in that Oscar winner Ben Affleck could join the production as well.
Affleck, who is coming into his own as a fantastic filmmaker, is interesting in taking on the role of the wealthy Tom Buchanan, who in the novel is married to Daisy (a role that Carey Mulligan is locked into), the object of Gatsby’s desire. It’d be great to see all three of these modern movie heavyweights on screen together, but there’s just one hitch: a film called Argo, which Affleck has targeted as his next directorial effort. A political thriller set up at Warner Bros. (where Affleck has an overall deal, and also the company which will distribute Gatsby), the film will likely shoot in September – directly conflicting with Gatsby’s August start.
Since Ben is a big deal at Warner’s, the studio is trying to work out the schedule to fit both high-priority productions into his calendar, but I’m not sure it’ll be possible. Directing a film is a big commitment and I don’t think that Affleck will compromise the integrity of one project for another. However, Buchanan’s role is rather small compared to the other male parts, so it is possible that Luhrmann could film all of Affleck’s scenes at the top of the shoot to ensure that he can send the burgeoning auteur off in time to helm his own picture.