Jay-Z has been announced as the executive producer of Baz Luhrmann’s screen adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s masterpiece The Great Gatsby, and I have officially lost any scrap of desire I ever had to see this film.
If Luhrmann had any intentions of keeping his—judging by the trailer—fairly loose interpretation of the novel anything other than an obvious massive Hollywood money-grab with no respect for the tone of the book itself, or Fitzgerald, he just threw that notion out the window with both hands.
According to a Warner Bros.’ press release, the King of America has been brought on board to “bring the modern "Jazz Age" energy of F. Scott Fitzgerald's original text to the big screen . . . featuring some of the world's top musical artists.”
How is Jay-Z qualified to be bringing any kind of jazz anywhere? Also, exactly how do you combine 1920s jazz with today’s “top musical artists”, and why would you want to?
If Luhrmann was truly trying to capture the jazz sound of Fitzgerald’s era, enlisting Jay-Z to do it is like asking Celine Dion to produce your punk album. Or like, asking Jay-Z to modernize the 1920s jazz era. This whole project just officially became ridiculous.
If you’re going to produce another huge, star-packed Hollywood jizz-fest, fine, but don’t pretend that it’s anything other than what it is: the L.A. movie-machine, ripping off yet another classic story line and its title, and bastardizing it for profit.
I dare say, somewhere in America, there’s a rapper, furiously catching up on his classics.