Viking creator Michael Hirst adapts The Great Gatsby at A + E.
After F. Scott Fitzgerald’s received several big screen adaptations since its release in 1925 The Great Gatsby finally makes its way to the small screen as Vikings Creator Michael Hirst has pledged to develop a series iteration at A + E Studios and ITV Studios America, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
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Set in the 1920s on Long Island, Fitzgerald’s famous novel revolves around narrator Nick Carraway, who forges a friendship with the mysterious millionaire Jay Gatsby and learns of his obsession with reuniting with his former lover, Daisy Buchanan. The series adaptation will continue to explore the New York Black community and musical subculture during the period, with William B. Ransford, Professor of English and Comparative Literature and African American Studies at Columbia University, Farah Jasmine Griffin, advising and directing the series her partner is Hirst and consultant producer Blake Hazard, great-granddaughter of Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, on the redesign of the miniseries.
“I seem to have lived with Gatsby For most of my life I read it first as a student, later taught it in Oxford in the 1970s, and have re-read it regularly since then“Said Hirst.”As the critic Lionel Trilling once wrote: ‘The Great Gatsby is still as fresh as when it first appeared, it has even increased in weight and relevance. ‘Today as America seeks to reinvent itself, this is the perfect moment to look at this timeless story with new eyes and explore its famous and iconic characters through the modern lens of gender, race and sexual orientation. Fitzgerald’s deeply romantic vision does not prevent him from examining the darker underbelly of the American experience and uncovering which is why the story speaks and continues to resonate today for both tragedy and hope.”
Click here to purchase Fitzgerald’s original novel and the 1974 and 2013 film adaptations!
Hirst is included to write the script for the “closed miniseriesAnd Executive Produce alongside Michael London of Groundswell Productions (Sideways) while the co-producers are currently working to buy in the project in premium cable and streaming outlets. Sources report that A + E has owned the rights to the novel for decades, right down to the little film starring Paul Rudd as Carraway, and that they have been working quietly with Hirst and Apple for at least three years, secretly attached last year before leaving.
“I have long dreamed of a more diverse, comprehensive version of Gatsby that better reflects the America we live in, one that could allow all of us to see ourselves in Scott’s wildly romantic text“Said Hazard.”Michael brings a deep awe of Scott’s work to the project, but also a fearlessness to bring such an iconic story to life in an accessible and fresh way. I am very happy to be part of the project.”
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Hirst has been working with A + E for almost a decade, starting in 2013 with his successful historical drama Vikings This was the History Channel’s first scripted series and is currently developing the limited series The plague year for A&E and signed a general agreement with President Barry Jossen. Gatsby has been adapted into the film several times, including the Warner Baxter-directed iteration of 1926, the Alan Ladd star of 1949, 1974 starring Robert Redford and Baz Luhrmanns 2013 starring Leonardo DiCaprio in the title role.
(Photo credit: Ethan Miller / Getty Images for A + E Networks)