The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s canonical portrait of Jazz Age high society and corrupted American dreams, is coming to animation.
An adaptation of the 1925 novel, which finally entered the public domain on January 1st of this year, is in the works at DNEG Feature Animation, with William Joyce set to direct.
Here are the details:
- Joyce is a writer, illustrator, and animation industry veteran who wrote and co-directed the Oscar-winning animated short The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore (2011). His writing has inspired several animated titles, including Dreamworks’ Rise of the Guardians, Blue Sky’s Robots and Epic, Disney’s Meet the Robinsons, and Netflix’s upcoming hybrid series Ollie’s Odyssey.
- Illustrator and writer Brian Selznick is attached to adapt the Great Gatsby for the screen. His books include Wonderstruck, The Marvels, and The Invention of Hugo Cabret, the last of which was adapted into Martin Scorsese’s 2011 feature Hugo.
- In a statement, Joyce gave a sense of how he envisions his film:
Gatsby continues to cast a powerful spell over readers unlike any other book in American letters. 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.
- Animation will come from DNEG Feature Animation, the vfx titan’s young character animation division. The unit’s first project is Ron’s Gone Wrong, which it is producing with London’s Locksmith Animation; the feature is scheduled to be released by Disney on October 22.
- DNEG Feature Animation is also working with Joyce on the original animated short Mr. Spam Gets a New Hat. The team, led by Taylor Moll as vfx supervisor, is using the real-time Unreal Engine for the project, and plans to use it for The Great Gatsby too.
- This is to be the first animated adaptation of The Great Gatsby (unless you count, er, “The Great Phatsby,” a two-episode-long Simpsons spoof of the novel). Joyce will produce alongside Michael Siegel (executive producer, Rise of the Guardians) and David Prescott, DNEG’s svp of creative production.