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Leonardo DiCaprio could have finally received his long-awaited first Oscar win in February 2013. Carey Mulligan could have scored another nomination and director Baz Luhrmann could have had another Best Picture nomination on his resume. That was all before Monday, when Warner Bros. suddenly decided to hold back Luhrmann’s adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby until summer 2013.
The decision is likely to have ramifications during the 2012 Oscar season and the studio never really said why it made the decision.
“Based on what we've seen, Baz Luhrmann's incredible work is all we anticipated and so much more,” Warner Bros. president of domestic distribution Dan Fellman said in a statement. “It truly brings Fitzgerald's American classic to life in a completely immersive, visually stunning and exciting way. We think moviegoers of all ages are going to embrace it, and it makes sense to ensure this unique film reaches the largest audience possible.”
The film was originally supposed to come out on Christmas Day, the same day as Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained, which also stars DiCaprio. It was expected to be one of the studio’s top contenders for Oscar wins and nominations.
Thankfully, Warner Bros. still has Ben Affleck’s Argo, Cloud Atlas with Tom Hanks and Peter Jackson’s first The Hobbit film, which could draw plenty of attention from the film Academy.
“It's a major shakeup,” Tom O'Neil of GoldDerby.com told E! News about Gastby’s delay.
The New York Times also notes that the move will give Cloud Atlas a chance. That film premieres at the Toronto Film Festival next month.
Other potential films, like Fox Searchlight’s Hitchcock and the Coen brothers’ Inside Llewyn Davis, might not even be finished by the end of the year.
According to Gold Derby, the favorites for Best Picture should be Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln, Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master and Tom Hooper’s Les Miserables, now that The Great Gatsby is out.
Of course, DiCaprio, who was shut out last year despite J. Edgar, could still get a nod for Django as a supporting actor.
Speculation about Gatsby’s delay will continue until Warner Bros. says something official. Sources have told The Los Angeles Times that Luhrmann was hoping to get more time to perfect the film’s 3D effects and its all-star soundtrack.
Gatsby is Luhrmann’s first film since 2008’s Australia. His 2001 film Moulin Rouge! was nominated for Best Picture.