Jazz Age Comin' Atcha! Leonardo DiCaprio to Play 'The Great Gatsby'

Writer/director Bax Luhrmann has publicly taken his time with his adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's most famous work, "The Great Gatsby."

In 2008, shortly before his film "Australia" came out and tanked, he bought the rights to the novel. Late last year, he began workshopping the project in New York, with Leonardo DiCaprio as Jay Gatsby, Tobey Maguire as Nick Carraway, and Rebecca Hall as Daisy Buchanan. At no point in this process did he commit to the film as his next project, but now it's official.

At least one of those stars will see the project all the way through - The Hollywood Reporter broke the story that Luhrmann will be shooting "The Great Gatsby," with DiCaprio as the man himself, in Australia this fall.

Carey Mulligan ("An Education," "Never Let Me Go") has been offered the role of Daisy, but the story makes no mention of who will be playing Nick, the novel's ostensible main character.

Though he is one of literature's most famous observers, it can be a tricky part to play - you don't want someone who will disappear from the screen completely, and you don't want someone overactive.

Most intriguingly, Luhrmann is going ahead with his original notion to shoot the whole thing in 3D. Most  filmmakers currently working in the format don't seem to see its possibilities (and certainly aren't aware of its limitations). Since this is hardly a project financiers would expect to release in 3D, let's hope Luhrmann has a good reason for it.

"The Great Gatsby" has been adapted several times before, most famously in a Francis Ford Coppola-written, Robert Redford-starring adaptation in the 1970's that was essentially a staged reading of the novel, but none have quite captured its spirit.

Indeed, it may be unadaptable, and history has not shown that Luhrmann is capable of what the novel demands, but I've been surprised before.