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.
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."
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."
While the movie has inspired many Gatsby themed parties, the original novel was actually deeply critical of the self-indulgent lifestyle of rich people like Jay Gatsby himself. Due to its critical tone and tragic ending, the story has been called a 'cautionary tale of the decadent downside of the American dream'. Unfortunately, the moral of the story is lost on most movie goers, especially the rich ones who throw non-ironic "Gatsby parties," unaware that invoking the name of the novel basically amounts to admitting that the world would be a much better place without the less wealthier sections of society. A few years ago, Prince Harry attended a Gatsby-themed 21st birthday party that cost $25,000 to throw. The following year, Paul McCartney threw his own expensive Gatsby birthday gala. Meanwhile, Pinterest has numerous users collecting material for Gatsby-themed weddings. As Zachary Seward of The Atlantic puts it, "It's like throwing a Lolita-themed children's birthday party." The Gatsby craze revved up even further before the release of the film. In London, newspapers had to advise their readers about which of the many Gatsby parties they should favour. And CNN, while actually conceding that the book critiqued this sort of thing, offered up a guide on hosting your own Gatsby bash. For babies.
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.
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.
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.
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 Long Island Gatsby bears a strong resemblance to "Beacon Towers", a mansion built by Alva Vanderbilt Belmont and at one point owned by Millicent Hearst, the estranged wife of William Randolph Hearst. Beacon Towers was located in Sands Point, NY. This mansion was actually located in the books equivalent of "West Egg" and has long been suggested as the Gatsby model. The mansion was torn down in 1945 after being sold in 1942.
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.
(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.
Joel Edgerton (Tom Buchanan) and Jason Clarke (George Wilson, husband of Tom's mistress Myrtle) previously met in Kathryn Bigelow's Zero Dark Thirty (2012), but shared only very little screen-time together, just one scene in the hangar with stealth helicopters. In Zero Dark Thirty, Clarke stars as CIA agent Dan, while Edgerton plays a US Navy SEAL Patrick, the leader of the squadron team that carries out attack on Bin Laden.
At one point of the movie, Tom Buchanan (Joel Edgerton) jokes about the crazy possibility of marriage between white and black people. Funny enough, Edgerton would ended up playing Richard Loving in Loving (2016), about a real life interracial marriage.