Peter Bart Shares a Few Gatsby Memories

Under the hilarious headline “Hollywood’s F. Scott Fitz and Starts,” Variety executive vice president and editorial director Peter Bart frames the upcoming fourth film version of The Great Gatsby in ways that the average pajama-clad movie blogger can only dream of.

Not only was Bart instrumental in version number three, one that almost paired Marlon Brando with the script nuances of Francis Ford Coppola. But he was also there at the genesis of version number four. If we had this kind of access, we’d lead with the information as well:

Baz Luhrmann took me by surprise four years ago when he confided over lunch that he intended to shoot The Great Gatsby as his next movie — he explained that he had become obsessed with the Gatsby story. I told him that I, too, admired the great F. Scott Fitzgerald novel but could never quite figure out its story — nor could the three directors who’d made previous Gatsby’s.

We wish the April 23 column had touched a little more on Luhrmann’s Gatsby-esque decision to build a full replica, Down Under, of period New York. But overall, it’s always most entertaining when Bart connects directly with his Hollywood studio executive past.

[Photo of Luhrmann: Featureflash/]
Previously on FishbowlLA:
Three Solid Gatsby Cannes Ledes