A TV adaptation of “The Great Gatsby” is in development at A+E Studios and ITV Studios America, the studios announced Tuesday.
“Elizabeth” screenwriter Michael Hirst is set to adapt the iconic F. Scott Fitzgerald novel for the potential series, which does not yet have a network or platform attached to it.
The project is described as a “single season dramatic event series” that is a “re-imagining” of Fitzgerald’s book: “The Great Gatsby” dramatizes for the first time the full expanse of what made the book an American classic by creating a rich history and exploration of the backstories of its larger than life characters, from Nick Carroway’s life in the Midwest and Jay Gatsby’s humble beginnings to Daisy Buchanan’s spoiled early life. “The Great Gatsby” digs deeply into the hidden lives of these characters through the modern lens of a fractured American dream while capturing the full majesty of Fitzgerald’s grand, timeless vision.
Per the studios, “Under the guidance of consulting producer Farah Jasmine Griffin, the William B. Ransford Professor of English & Comparative Literature and African-American Studies at Columbia University, the event series delves into New York’s African-American community of the time and the vibrant musical subculture developing in the 1920s.”
“I seem to have lived with ‘Gatsby’ most of my life, reading it first as a schoolboy, later teaching it at Oxford in the 1970s then re-reading it periodically ever since,” Hirst said. “As the critic Lionel Trilling once wrote: ”The Great Gatsby’ is still as fresh as when it first appeared, it has even gained in weight and relevance.’ Today, as America seeks to reinvent itself once again, is the perfect moment to look with new eyes at this timeless story, to explore its famous and iconic characters through the modern lens of gender, race and sexual orientation. Fitzgerald’s profoundly romantic vision does not prevent him examining and exposing the darker underbelly of the American experience, which is why the story speaks to both tragedy and hope, and why it continues to resonate today.”
“There are few stories in the pantheon of American literature that transcend time like ‘The Great Gatsby,'” Barry Jossen, president and head of A+E Studios, said. “Along with our partners at ITV Studios America and Groundswell Productions, A+E Studios is privileged to bring this powerful, complex work to life under the watchful eye of the incomparable Michael Hirst and the blessing of Fitzgerald family member Blake Hazard. As evidenced by his series bible, Michael stays true to Fitzgerald’s novel while building on that legacy with a modern vision that will be more reflective of America both then and now, including an enhanced exploration of the female characters. We are currently searching for a director and are excited to bring this out to the market.”
“The Great Gatsby” series will be written by Hirst, who executive produces alongside Michael London through Groundswell Productions. Jossen is executive producer for A+E Studios and Lucienne Papon serves as executive producer for ITV Studios America. Blake Hazard, a great-granddaughter of Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald and a trustee of the Fitzgerald estate, and Farah Jasmine Griffin are consulting producers.
The Hollywood Reporter first reported the news of “The Great Gatsby” TV series.