The Great Gatsby has been released into the public domain, and so here are all the rumoured adaptations that are said to be in the works.
“In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since. Whenever you feel like adapting a classic novel, don’t forget to add vampires.”
At least, that’s the advice I presume was given to Kristen Briggs, who has published her take on F Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel under the title of The Great Gatsby Undead, the blurb of which reads as follows: “Gatsby doesn’t seem to eat anything, and has an aversion to silver, garlic and the sun, but good friends are hard to come by.”
This kind of literary blasphemy is permissible now that The Great Gatsby as passed into the public domain, and it doesn’t just apply to bargain bucket e-books. It was only eight years ago that Leonardo DiCaprio donned the silken suits of Jay Gatsby in another vain effort to win an Oscar, there’s reportedly another re-adapation that’s en route.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, a big-budget TV adaptation of The Great Gatsby is in development, helmed by Michael Hirst (the screenwriter for Vikings and The Tudors). There’s no word yet on the inclusion of vampires in this version; presumably Daisy Buchanan will remain the only heartless bloodsucker in the story. This adaptation will, according to Hirst, “explore its famous and iconic characters through the modern lens of gender, race and sexual orientation” (A penny for Tom Buchanan’s thoughts…)
But as soon as the internet heard news of The Great Gatsby‘s release into the public domain, social media united behind one banner: the demand for a Muppets adaptation.
Look, all I'm saying is: Muppets: The Great Gatsby.— Lax (@laxshinigami) January 2, 2021
In response to their clarion call, Benjamin Crew, a Reddit user with too much free time on his hands (apologies for the tautology) wrote an entire 104-page script for the hypothetical movie, replete with songs. If commissioned, it’s surely destined to become a cult classic, with such lines as the following:
Nick Carraway: I wonder what kind of a man Gatsby is…
Gonzo: Technically he’s a frog
Once this pandemic is over – if you can even dare to imagine such a time – a new Roaring Twenties will surely follow, and there’s nothing that would better encapsulate such a wild and carefree era than a slew of imaginative reinventions of Fitzgerald’s novella.
And so we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into re-boots, re-imaginings, and re-adaptations.