It’s only been a few months since F. Scott Fitzgerald’s iconic novel The Great Gatsby passed into the public domain, and the expected flood of profiteering is already starting to arrive. In the near future, we’ll see the release of Nick, a new novel from Michael Farris Smith exploring the backstory of Gatsby narrator Nick Carraway, but there are also new feature adaptations of the original story in store for us as well. Specifically, Gatsby will get an animated rendition, according to THR, which would be a new first for a story that has been told many times.
This new animated version of the 1925 novel, a staple of high school English classes and casual “did you know I read classic literature?” name-dropping, would be written by Brian Selznick, who wrote The Invention of Hugo Cabret, the source material for Martin Scorsese’s Hugo. It will be directed by William Joyce, who worked as a conceptual artist on the original Pixar entries A Bug’s Life and Toy Story.
“Gatsby continues to cast a powerful spell over readers unlike any other book in American letters,” said Joyce, a 2011 Academy Award winner for his short film The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore. “Much of the power of Gatsby comes from the enchantment of Fitzgerald’s prose. He created a vivid dreamscape that, to some degree, has eluded filmmakers since the silent era. The previous film versions were constrained by live action, but innovative animation could finally realize the elusive quality of the novel.”
One could argue that Baz Luhrmann’s most recent 2013 live-action adaptation could practically qualify as “animated,” given how much CGI was involved, but we can’t help but agree with Joyce that fully animating the classic story is likely a good way to give it a new lease on life. Other prominent versions of Gatsby have included the first adaptation in 1926, and a subsequent 1974 version with Robert Redford and Mia Farrow. There’s no news yet on who would possibly be voicing any of the characters in the animated version, but you can bet that those will be some sought-after voice acting gigs. Tom Holland as Jay Gatsby, perhaps? We’ll have to wait and see.