The 2013 Oscar race and the month of December just got a little less crowded. Warner Bros. has announced (via The Playlist) that Baz Luhrmann’s highly anticipated 3-D version of The Great Gatsby will no longer be released in December of 2012 and instead will shoot for a Summer 2013 release.
Does this mean the film is not as good as we had hoped? Not necessarily. This simply means that Luhrmann’s take on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s much revered novel is more suited for mainstream audiences than art houses and Warner Bros. likely has higher hopes of The Great Gatsby being a money-earner than an award winner. The film will probably receive a very wide release with a weekend all to itself as the glamor and scale of Luhrmann’s production tries to compete with next Summer’s comic book adaptations and family films.
December of 2012 was already quite crowded with Oscar hopefuls like Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained, Kathryn Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty, Tom Hooper’s Les Miserables, Peter Jackson’s first part of The Hobbit, and about a dozen smaller releases that are hoping to generate some buzz on the festival circuit. It had long been thought that one of these films would have to move to make room for the competition, but it does come as a surprise that Gatsby was the one to go.
The film has already teased a lot of footage with an official trailer and several on-set images detailing the magnificent art direction and costume design. There has been no indication that the delay has anything to do with the movie’s completeness, but it is probably entirely a result of Warner Bros. trying to position the movie for maximum monetary gain.
Leonardo DiCaprio’s Oscar chances just got a little slimmer as he will now have no opportunity to double up on nominations with Gatsby and Django Unchained. Summer is also not the most popular time for the performances of the year to arrive, but if there are any in Gatsby that are truly substantial, they will certainly be remembered. Our Oscar predictions will be updated with the weekly Oscar Tracker column on Wednesday to reflect the changes.
Stay tuned for more news about the new release date when it comes in.