Updated: January 27, 2021 3:22:21 pm
The tradition of adapting novels to series is an old one. The latest to join the list is F Scott Fitzgerald’s classic, The Great Gatsby. According to a report in The Hollywood Reporter, A+E Studios and ITV Studios America are collaborating with writer Michael Hirst to make it happen. Being a contemporary reimagining, it will address issues like gender and class.
The 1925 novel is one of Fitzgerald’s most iconic work. Ironically the novel was received poorly on publication and the author died with that knowledge. Its popularity surged during World War 2. It centers around a mystifying millionaire Jay Gatsby and his obsession to find his long lost lover Daisy Buchanan. The narrative unfolds from the narrator Nick Carraway’s perspective and his interactions with Gatsby.
An interesting article in The Times outlines this transition of opinion. In the 1925 issue, the review of Fitzgerald’s book was relegated to a single paragraph, the offhandish treatment reflective of its initial response. The passage of time served the book well. But even then it was writer Gertrude Stein who saw merit in it. In a 1933 cover story on Times, she was said The Great Gatsby “will be read when many of his well known contemporaries are forgotten.”
Hirst who will be writing the script was quoted saying that he spent most of his life teaching and then re-reading it. “I seem to have lived with Gatsby most of my life, reading it first as a schoolboy, later teaching it at Oxford in the 1970s then re-reading it periodically ever since. As the critic Lionel Trilling once wrote: ‘The Great Gatsby is still as fresh as when it first appeared, it has even gained in weight and relevance.’ Today, as America seeks to reinvent itself once again, is the perfect moment to look with new eyes at this timeless story, to explore its famous and iconic characters through the modern lens of gender, race and sexual orientation. Fitzgerald’s profoundly romantic vision does not prevent him examining and exposing the darker underbelly of the American experience, which is why the story speaks to both tragedy and hope, and why it continues to resonate today.”
Reportedly, Blake Hazard, Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald’s great-granddaughter will be acting as the consulting producer.
“I have long dreamt of a more diverse, inclusive version of Gatsby that better reflects the America we live in, one that might allow us all to see ourselves in Scott’s wildly romantic text. Michael brings a deep reverence for Scott’s work to the project, but also a fearlessness about bringing such an iconic story to life in an accessible and fresh way. I’m delighted to be a part of the project,” ” Hazard was quoted as saying in the report.
The iconic 1925 novel was also adapted into a film of the same name in 2013.
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