Warner Bros. announced today they’re pushing back the release of Baz Luhrmann’s “The Great Gatsby” to summer 2013. The pic, based on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel, stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, and Carey Mulligan. It was to hit theaters on Christmas Day, but the studio is looking to avoid competition from “Jack Reacher,” “This Is 40,” and “Django Unchained.” With this move, they can stake out a date all their own in the biggest movie season of the year. Here’s what Warner Bros. President of Domestic Distribution, Dan Fellman, had to say:
Based on what we’ve seen, Baz Luhrmann’s incredible work is all we anticipated and so much more. It truly brings Fitzgerald’s American classic to life in a completely immersive, visually stunning and exciting way. We think moviegoers of all ages are going to embrace it, and it makes sense to ensure this unique film reaches the largest audience possible.
President of International Distribution for Warner Bros, Veronika Kwan Vandenberg, elaborated on the decision to delay the release just four months before it was to hit screens:
Baz is known for being innovative, but with this film he has done something completely unexpected–making it in 3D–while capturing the emotion, the intimacy, the power and the spectacle of the time. The responses we’ve had to some of the early sneak peeks have been phenomenal, and we think ‘The Great Gatsby’ will be the perfect summer movie around the world.
Of course, the shift could have something to do with the quality of the film, but it’s unclear at this point if the film is complete, and we may never know if or how it will change in the next eight or nine months. This obviously means it won’t contend for any 2012 awards and doesn’t bode well for its 2013 chances, either. This is more of a gamble for Warner Bros. than they’re admitting right now, but the film’s source material and star power should make it a healthy box office bet next summer.