Mia Farrow writes that the main reason she couldn't create on-screen chemistry with Robert Redford was because of Redford's total absorption in the Watergate scandals that were rocking Washington, D.C. at the time. Farrow says Redford spent all of his free time locked in his trailer, watching the political scandal unfold on television. Two years later, Redford played Watergate reporter Bob Woodward in All the President's Men (1976).
Robert Towne refused a chance to write the screenplay, despite a one hundred seventy-five thousand dollar salary, saying "I didn't want to be the unknown Hollywood screenwriter who fucked up a literary classic." Instead, he wrote Chinatown (1974), which earned him an Academy Award and established him as one of the greatest screenwriters of the period.
Shortly before this film's release, in order to deter critical comparisons with earlier cinematic adaptations of Fitzgerald's novel, Paramount Pictures suppressed the distribution of earlier nitrate prints for The Great Gatsby (1926) and The Great Gatsby (1949). This marketing decision ultimately led to prints for both films being lost. Decades later, in 2012, a print of the 1949 version was rediscovered, but the 1924 version continues to be lost.