Baz Luhrmann — know for his vivid, colorful, theatrical films like Romeo + Juliet and Moulin Rouge — is tackling F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby next, and the female lead, Daisy Buchanan, has not been cast.
Daisy, played in a 1974 version of the story by Mia Farrow, is a 23-year-old heiress described as "engaging and attractive, pampered and superficial with a largely ignored three-year-old daughter. " She may have been based on Fitzgerald's wife, Zelda, "the first American flapper," or on Ginevra King, a World War I-era Chicago debutante with whom Fitzgerald was infatuated. Fitzgerald and King had a romance that was not to be; King allegedly inspired Fitzgerald to write the words: "Poor boys shouldn't think of marrying rich girls."
According to Wikipedia:
On July 15, 1918, King wrote to Fitzgerald, telling of her engagement to William Mitchell, the son of her father's business associate. They married later that year and had three children. Then in 1937, she left Mitchell for businessman John T. Pirie, Jr. (of the Chicago department store Carson Pirie Scott & Company). That year she also met Fitzgerald for the last time in Hollywood; when she asked which character was based on her in The Beautiful and Damned, Fitzgerald replied, "Which bitch do you think you are?"
So who should play this pretty, heart-breaking heiress? Some choices:
At a table reading of the script, Luhrmann had Rebecca read the part of Daisy, with Tobey Maguire reading Nick Carraway (the Midwestern narrator who rents a bungalow between mansions) and Leonardo DiCaprio reading Jay Gatsby (the wealthy, mysterious man with the mansion next door). According to Deadline Hollywood, Rebecca is in the running, but Luhrmann is interested in casting a wider net. While Rebecca was sensational in The Town and Vicky Cristina Barcelona, she has a certain seriousness and gravitas about her. We picture Daisy as slightly more flighty — yet devious.
Amanda is allegedly on Lurhmann's list of possibilities. She was awesome as a manipulative sexpot in Chloe, but has proven that she can also do comedy and romance. She's got a great mix of innocence and knowing. And, as seen in Mama Mia!, she can sing. Luhrmann's not making a musical, though. Fingers fucking crossed.
While Blake is supposedly on Lurhmann's list, she is all wrong for the part, just like she's all wrong for Serena van der Woodsen. Sure, Anna Wintour loves her, but Blake lacks the bon vivant effortless snobbery and casual hauteur of the terribly rich. Opinion: She sucked in The Town.
Michelle has astonishing acting chops, and there's no doubt she would do a great job. But somehow Daisy seems more… sparkly, and immature? No? (Michelle is on the list, however.)
The undisputed queen of period pieces is also on Luhrmann's list. Keira can certainly play "pretty heiress." But can she play superficial heartbreaker? She wouldn't be my first choice.
ScarJo usually gets roles like this, which means she should stop being predictable. Also, even though she is 25, he doesn't exude the youthful, erratic silliness Daisy needs. (She is on the list, of course.)
America's favorite manic pixie dream girl is pretty perfect for the part, and Deadline Hollywood's Mike Fleming writes that he's heard Luhrmann is "sweet on" her.
As an actress, Rachel is great, but aren't we getting to the point where there's something boring and predictable about casting her as the love interest?
Paz De La Huerta
She's not on Luhrman's list, but Paz — whose own mother describes her as "Genghis Khan meets Marie Antoinette" — is vamping it up as floozy flapper on Boardwalk Empire. She could take Daisy in a whole new direction. But in Fitzgerald's book, he describes Daisy's voice as "the kind of voice that the ear follows up and down as if each speech is an arrangement of notes that will never be played again." Not sure that's an accurate description for what Paz sounds like.
Carey isn't name-dropped in the Deadline Hollywood piece, but she is a hot property right now. Although she is the same age as Scarlett Johansson, she has more of a childlike aura that could be the key to Daisy Buchanan's character portrait.
Also not on the list! The sparkle, the liveliness, the allure — it's all there. And by casting someone we usually see as a "good girl," Luhrmann gives us a shocking and cruel twist when Daisy turns out to be shallow and terrible.
Did someone say "attractive, superficial woman who neglects her kid?"
Where has the Dunst been lately, anyway? Kiki does the zany sloppy charming thing so well. And we haven't been inundated with her lately, like some other folks. Luhrmann, put her on your list!
May we suggest Blair Waldorf? She doesn't have a ton of film experience, but her resume is growing — she'll be warbling alongside Gwyneth Paltrow in Country Strong. On Gossip Girl, she does a bratty screwball comedy version of a rich bitch; pretty on the outside and poison on the inside, which sounds pretty close to Daisy.
File Under: Please Don't Let It Be…
Nicole Kidman. Please, Baz, we know you love her, but no.
We will also be upset if Daisy is played by Kate "Penny Lane" Hudson. Claire Danes — whose wig was all wrong in Romeo + Juliet — should also be out of the running, just because of her age, unfortunately. Although she might be awesome for lady golfer Jordan Baker?
Fitzgerald writes: "They were careless people, Tom and Daisy — they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made…"
So who do you think would be a good Daisy?
Baz Casting Wider Daisy Net For 'Gatsby' [Deadline Hollywood]