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March 12, 2013 by · 1 Comment 

Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby, starring Leonardo DiCaprio in the title role, has been selected to open the 66th annual Cannes Film Festival on May 15, the Festival announced today (Tuesday). The Australian director, who last appeared in Cannes in 2001 when his Moulin Rouge! was selected for the opening honor, observed in a statement that F. Scott Fitzgerald, whose novel he and co-writer Craig Pearce adapted for the movie, wrote “some of the most poignant and beautiful passages of his extraordinary novel just a short distance away at a villa outside St. Raphael.” It will mark only the second time that a 3D film has opened the festival, after Disney/Pixar’s Up in 2009, the Festival noted. Set to appear at the red carpet premiere are the film’s stars, DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, Carey Mulligan, Amitabh Bachchan, and Jay-Z. Although the Festival observed that the Warner Bros. film will be screened on the same day that it opens internationally, it actually is scheduled to open in the U.S. on the previous weekend, on May 10. To take advantage of the Cannes publicity, however, the studio could elect to delay the film’s domestic opening to May 17, but that would put it in competition at the box office with Star Trek Into Darkness. The $125-million film has already seen a delay. It had originally been scheduled to open during the crowded Christmas holiday period. At the time, it was said that Luhrmann wanted additional time to work on the film’s intricate special effects.