The Great Gatsby, the 1925 novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald, is getting reimagined for a new television series adaptation. From A+E Studios and ITV Studios America, the big-budget series will be written by Michael Hirst (The Tudors, Vikings). Hirst will also executive produce alongside Groundswell Productions' Michael London. Blake Hazard, Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald's granddaughter and a trustee of the Fitzgerald estate, is also on board as a consulting producer.
"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," Hirst told The Hollywood Reporter. "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.'"
He adds, "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."
Per THR, this new take on The Great Gatsby will explore New York's Black community and the musical subculture in the 1920s, digging "deeper into the hidden lives of its characters through the modern lens of a fractured American dream while also capturing the full majesty of Fitzgerald's timeless vision." Farah Jasmine Griffin, Columbia University's William B. Ransford Professor of English and comparative literature and African-American studies, will serve as a consultant for Hirst and Hazard.
"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," Hazard said of Hirst's reimagining. "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."
The original book version of The Great Gatsby is set in the Jazz Age on Long Island, following narrator Nick Carraway and his interactions with a mysterious billionaire named Jay Gatsby who fantasizes about reuniting with his lost love. The story has been adapted several times over the years, including the famous 1974 movie with Robert Redford as Jay Gatsby, Mia Farrow as his former lover Daisy Buchanan, and Sam Waterston as Nick Carraway.
A+E Studios previously developed a TV movie version of The Great Gatsby in 2000. That version starred Paul Rudd as Nick, Toby Stephens as Jay, and Mira Sorvino as Daisy. The movie was produced in collaboration with BBC and aired on A&E in the U.S. The company has reportedly held onto the rights to The Great Gatsby ever since, and the new adaptation is said to have been in the works for at least three years.
No network is yet attached to The Great Gatsby as co-producers plan to shop the series to premium cable and streaming outlets in the near future. This news was first reported by The Hollywood Reporter.