Entertainment & Arts

The Great Gatsby confirmed as Cannes opener

The Great Gatsby
Image caption DiCaprio worked with director Luhrmann in his 1996 film Romeo and Juliet

Baz Luhrmann's adaptation of The Great Gatsby, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, is to open the 66th Cannes Film Festival.

Based on F Scott Fitzgerald's 1925 classic novel, Toby Maguire and Carey Mulligan also star.

Luhrmann - whose debut film Strictly Ballroom was screened at Cannes 21 years ago - said the festival had "always been so close to our hearts".

The Australian director's new film will be shown on 15 May at the Grand Theatre Lumiere of the Palais des Festivals.

"F Scott Fitzgerald wrote some of the most poignant and beautiful passages of his extraordinary novel just a short distance away at a villa outside Saint-Raphael," Luhrmann said in a statement.

The Great Gatsby was scripted by Luhrmann and co-writer Craig Pearce, who worked together eight-time Oscar nominated film, Moulin Rouge!. That film also opened the Cannes Film Festival in 2001.

DiCaprio, who stars as the tragic romantic Jay Gatsby, last worked with the director on his 1996 film Romeo + Juliet, for which Luhrmann won a Bafta for best screenplay and best direction.

The actor is returning to Cannes for the first time since he presented the 2007 ecological documentary, The 11th Hour, which he produced.

The Great Gatsby features songs by Jack White and rapper Jay-Z - who is also due to attend the opening at Cannes.

It will also be screened in 3D - only the second time in the history of the festival a film has been shown in the format after Pixar's Up opened in 2009.

The film had been due for release last Christmas but was pushed back by Warner Bros to ensure it "reaches the largest audience possible".

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