'Great Gatsby' filmmaker wants to inspire summer of lavish parties

Wed May 1, 2013 9:34pm EDT
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By Zorianna Kit

(Reuters) - The latest big-screen adaptation of "The Great Gatsby" gets its world premiere in New York on Wednesday, kicking off what film director Baz Luhrmann hopes will be a summer of extravagant Gatsby-inspired parties.

"Is there a book that captures summer in New York more accurately, more viscerally than 'The Great Gatsby'? I don't think so," Luhrmann told Reuters ahead of the film's premiere and May 10 U.S. release date.

Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, and with a soundtrack produced by rapper Jay-Z, the film has struck promotional partnerships with clothing retailer Brooks Brothers, jeweler Tiffany & Co. and Moet & Chandon champagne.

"The idea is that you don't just come see the movie, but also celebrate that extraordinary book throughout the summer," the Australian director said of his version of F. Scott Fitzgerald's 1920s tale of decadence and illusion.

"There's an intoxication that (protagonist) Jay Gatsby used to draw all of New York into his glittering parties and his mysterious gardens."

The film, shot mostly in Australia, was a long time coming. Its release date was originally set for December 2012 but was pushed to May, causing speculation as to what was happening behind the scenes.

Luhrmann, who also directed the 2001 musical "Moulin Rouge," said the biggest issue was the unrelenting bad weather that kept halting production.

"It didn't rain once or twice, it rained five times," Luhrmann said. "I got shut down so many times that we had to reconvene in February (2012). When we reconvened, it rained again!"   Continued...

Actor Tobey Maguire attends the 'The Great Gatsby' world premiere at Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York May 1, 2013. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly