Leonardo DiCaprio wanted to play Jay Gatsby because he was drawn to "the idea of a man who came from absolutely nothing, who created himself solely from his own imagination. Gatsby's one of those iconic characters because he can be interpreted in so many ways: a hopeless romantic, a completely obsessed wacko or a dangerous gangster, clinging to wealth."
According to Tom Breen, the owner of property "Breenhold" in the Blue Mountains where a lot of filming took place, there was a huge stuff-up on set by a "private weather guru" who was hired by Baz Luhrmann. Mr Breen claims that on a beautiful spring day, the crew purchased 100,000 litres of water from one of the dams to create the synthetic rain needed for the scene where a nervous Gatsby has Nick Carroway invite Daisy over for tea. It rained for the next 3 days.
The Great Gatsby would have been ready for theaters upon its original release date of December 2012. However, after a meeting with Warner Brothers President Jeff Robinov, the date was pushed back. Robinov asked Baz Luhrmann "Will the movie be ready for Christmas?", and Luhrman said yes. Robinov then asked "Will the movie you WANT to make be ready for Christmas?" to which Luhrmann replied no. Robinov then gave him a few more months to work on the film in post production.
Carey Mulligan was at a fashion awards dinner when she got the call from Baz Luhrmann that she'd won the part of Daisy Buchanan. "I burst into tears in the middle of this room with Karl Lagerfeld and all these people standing next to me," she recalls. "They thought I was mental."
In Gatsby's party in which Nick is invited, there is a scene where Nick tries to take a glass of wine from a waiter's tray only for the glass to be taken first by someone else. This seems to be a nod to a similar scene in Spider-Man 2 (2004) in which Tobey Maguire repeatedly fails to pick up a glass of wine from the trays of waiters, always having someone else pick them up first.
When Klipspringer falls asleep on the organ, a pair of tennis shoes can be seen on top of the organ. Towards the end of the novel (not shown in the movie), he makes a call to Nick asking if anyone had seen his tennis shoes that he had left in the mansion.
Shortly before and after its 2013 release, this film inspired many celebrities to host Gatsby-themed costume parties. Ironically, the novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald was critical of such self-indulgent galas for the rich and privileged. Nevertheless, Prince Harry attended a Gatsby-themed birthday party that cost $25,000 to throw. Likewise, Paul McCartney threw his own expensive Gatsby-themed birthday gala. This Gatsby craze peaked shortly before the film's premiere. In London, newspapers advised socialites about which of the many Gatsby parties they should attend. In America, CNN offered a guide for affluent parents on hosting Gatsby-themed bashes for their children. This prompted Zachary Seward of The Atlantic to quip that it was "like throwing a Lolita-themed children's birthday party."
The phrase "old sport" is said 55 times during the movie; all but four of those times are delivered by Leonardo DiCaprio (including two instances repeated in flashbacks near the end of the film). Of the four not said by DiCaprio, two are delivered by Joel Edgerton, one by Steve Bisley and one by Callan McAuliffe.
Genuine Duesenberg automobiles are far too rare and valuable to be used in driving action scenes. (A Duesenberg Model SJ Convertible Coupe sold at auction for over $4.5 million in March 2013.) Two Duesenberg Model J replicas were painted yellow and modified to match each other for filming.
The billboard for Doctor T.J. Eckleburg in the Valley of Ashes is very similar in appearance to the first edition cover of the 1925 novel painted by artist Francis Cugat. After a career as a cover designer in New York City, Cugat moved to Hollywood in the mid-1920s and became a designer for actor Douglas Fairbanks.
Carey Mulligan has since revealed that she's not a fan of her own performance in this film, believing that the huge scale of the project overwhelmed her at the time, and after completing it decided to focus on smaller films that would be more likely to have smaller and more tightly knit casts and crews.
The exterior of Gatsby's Long Island abode was based upon Beacon Towers, a mansion built by Alva Vanderbilt and later owned by Millicent Hearst, the estranged wife of William Randolph Hearst. When writing the novel, Fitzgerald based his conception of Gatsby's palace on Beacon Towers which was located in Sands Point, New York, the novel's equivalent of "West Egg." Beacon Towers was torn down in 1945.
There are several references to Arrow Collars. Arrow brand detachable shirt collars were common menswear accessories in the early 1920s, and the Arrow Collar Man was featured in a very successful and popular ad campaign.
In the 1925 novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald, the gangster Meyer Wolfsheim wore cuff-links made from human molars. The character of Wolfsheim was based upon real-life gambler and bootlegger Arnold Rothstein who became a millionaire by the age of thirty. He was murdered in 1928.
(May 15 2013) When this fourth Gatsby feature installment opened the 66th Cannes Film Festival, actors Robert Redford and Bruce Dern were appearing in separate scheduled films, respectively: All Is Lost (2013) (non-competitive) and Nebraska (2013). The two men had co-starred just once before, in The Great Gatsby (1974).
Tom mentions Kapi'olani and Punchbowl in a pivotal scene with Daisy. Kapi'olani Park is on the Hawaiian island of Oahu, between the Waikiki and Diamond Head neighborhoods. Punchbowl Crater is about a 6 mile drive to the northwest.
At one point of the movie, Tom Buchanan (Joel Edgerton) jokes about the remote possibility of marriage between white and black people. Edgerton later portrayed Richard Loving in Loving (2016), a film about the landmark decision by the U.S. Supreme Court which struck down all state laws banning interracial marriage.
Circa 2010, Martin Scorsese purportedly evinced interest in directing a period-authentic film adaptation of The Great Gatsby. However, when Baz Luhrmann pursued the project, Scorsese instead shifted his attention to making The Wolf of Wall Street (2013). Somehow, Scorsese's plans for a Gatsby film were parodied/referenced in Season 5 of the HBO television series, Entourage (2004-2011), in which the character Vincent Chase was cast to play Nick Carraway.