Film & TV

Feb 22, 2011

Secret $40 million windfall for Great Gatsby despite no koalas, kangaroos

A storm is brewing over the $40 million set to be paid out to Baz Luhrmann's Hollywood blockbuster The Great Gatsby, with angry film industry insiders saying the decision ignores the main game of proper investment in local productions.

Andrew Crook — Former <em>Crikey</em> Senior Journalist

Andrew Crook

Former Crikey Senior Journalist

A storm is brewing over the $40 million in taxpayer funds to be paid out to Baz Luhrmann’s Hollywood blockbuster The Great Gatsby, with angry film industry insiders saying the decision ignores the main game of proper investment in local productions.

18 comments

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18 thoughts on “Secret $40 million windfall for Great Gatsby despite no koalas, kangaroos

  1. dawsondog

    The government should front up money to stop Luhrmann from making this film, indeed any film.

  2. Holden Back

    ‘Australia’ made its budget back and $90m to boot. As flops go . . .

    As one who has recently re-read the book and seen the Redford/Farrow movie (oh dear, not even so bad it’s good), I’d say it’s Fitzgerald’s prose that makes the story of interest.

  3. baal

    What’s the betting we get a campy piece de post-noir noir? Gatsby is a slim tale which will require subtlety and nuances, none of which has ever been displayed by Lurmann in his previous excursions. The man has v. little talent but a lot of luck and cheek. Australia ‘earned’ him a similar if not bigger handout from which the country got precious little (remember all the crap about how it was going to flood us with tourists?) it was an international flop even though it did OK here (out of loyalty and curiosity). The only beneficiaries will be out of work technicians and Fox studios (now remind me, who owns that?)

  4. Daniel

    Luhrmann doesn’t necessarily make *bad* films, but he directs with a certain style that I’m not sure fits Gatsby. Then again, the roaring ’20s certainly seem colourful and decadent enough so who knows!

  5. baal

    Sorry DANIEL, but Luhrmann has no ‘style.’ Australia was a simplistic arrangement of extended montages (rather than scenes) with a bit of horse riding, cattle droving and bombing raids most of which ended up with two people running towards each other and hugging to swelling cheesy music. He shoots scenes without dynamic and little action so has to fall back on cutting shots to a tempo (more a habit due to shortcomings than a ‘style’) rather than shotting real action – the video clip mode is well evidenced in the opening of Romeo & Juliet and the entirety of Moulin Rouge. Still, he’s got the funds so he knows how to talk his way through the process to people with the cash. I’m told this skill is a very large part of being a ‘success’ in the movies

  6. jocelynne scutt

    tax secrecy laws? nonsense. it is a matter of transparency vis-a-vis government funding. screen australia is bound by principles of transparency, openness in terms of funding and funding arrangements, and the notion that tax secrecy laws can oust public scrutiny of film australia decisions is risable.

  7. zut alors

    Here’s an idea.

    Forget making the film here. Instead the Australian Govt should write a generous $20K cheque to each of the local 150 actors/post production etc people to compensate for missing out on the project. That will only cost we hapless taxpayers $3M, a handsome saving.

    The other saving will be a Scott Fitzgerald embarrassment.

  8. baal

    Agreed. This is serious Emperor’s New Clothes country were heading for

  9. leone

    2000 extras???? Why? This alone tells me that dear Baz is planning yet another over-blown, over-hyped extravanganza. It will have little to do with The Great Gatsby and a lot to do with his wife’s dream of designing a lot of over-the-top 1920’s frocks. The only good news so far is that Nicole Kidman isn’t going to appear.

  10. Sam G

    This is going to be bad bad bad.. can’t understand why Le0 de Caprio is attached to it (he is on a roll).

    Still. Whatever the film looks like in the cinema, it doesn’t deserve a $40m Australian subsidy.

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