Wednesday, 30 May 2012


Script Editor holds tight for classic literary remakes...

Two films on everybody’s lips this week, following the release of theatrical trailers, are Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby and Working Title’s Tom Hooper-directed Les Misérables.

The stage musical, based on the novel by Victor Hugo and originally directed by Trevor Nunn at the Barbican, recently celebrated its 25th anniversary in London’s West End. This won’t be the first time the five volume novel has formed the basis of a film or TV adaptation, with over fifty already in existence dating back to 1907 and in multiple languages, including Korean, Egyptian, Hindi and Telugu.

British screenwriter, William Nicholson (Gladiator, Shadowlands, Elizabeth: The Golden Age) adapted this latest variant which stars Hugh Jackman and Russell Crowe as nemeses, Jean Valjean  and Javert,  with Sacha Baron Cohen as Thernadier and Anne Hathaway as Fantine. The trailer promises attractive photography by Danny Cohen (This is England, The King’s Speech) and some wonderful vocals by Anne Hathaway, who’s already proved her lung-mettle, duetting with Hugh Jackman at the 2009 Academy Awards.

From gutter to stars – F. Scott Fitzgerald’s 1925 novel, The Great Gatsby, has been given a ceiling-high budget, digital makeover by the Australian director. Firing, customarily, on all four cylinders, Lurhmann has thrown together a lavishly ornamental  art-deco set, 360-visuals and a Jack White cover of U2’s ‘Love is Blindness’ in this expensive-looking trailer that favours flavour over character. Let’s hope it’s a case of the good trailer, giving precious little away.

We can expect excellent things from Leonardo DiCaprio, who never puts a foot wrong. The talented Joel Edgerton (Animal Kingdom) looks capably threatening as Daisy’s philandering husband, Tom Buchanan, and Tobey Maguire fit to make something of the challenging, side-car narrator-role, Nick Carraway.

Both films are under a lot of pressure to meet the sensitive demands of fans worldwide. The Great Gatsby is due for release on Christmas Day and Les Misérables shortly after. December will tell. 

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