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."
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 Great Gatsby would have been ready for theaters upon its original release date of December 2012. However, after a meeting with Warner Bros President Jeff Robinov, the date was pushed back. Robinov asked 'Baz Luhrman' "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 Luhrman replied no. Robinov then gave him a few more months to work on the film in post production.
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.
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."
(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). Coincidentally, both men had co-starred just once before in The Great Gatsby (1974).
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.
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.
The trivia item below may give away important plot points.
In the scene where Klipspringer falls asleep on the organ, a pair of tennis shoes can be seen on top of the organ. This is a reference to the end of the novel (not shown in the movie) where after Gatsby's death, he makes a call to Nick asking if anyone had seen his tennis shoes that he had left in the mansion.