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ITV, A+E pair on Gatsby adaptation

ITV Studios America and A+E Studios, the production arm of US channels operator A+E Networks, are coproducing an adaptation of F Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel The Great Gatsby.

Michael Hirst

The two companies are linking up with LA-based Groundswell Productions on the series which will explore the characters’ backstories, from Jay Gatsby’s humble beginnings to Daisy Buchanan’s privileged early life.

It will also delve into New York’s African-American community of the time and the vibrant musical subculture developing in the 1920s.

Michael Hirst (Vikings, The Tudors, Elizabeth) will serve as writer and executive producer while Groundswell’s Michael London (Sideways, Milk) will executive produce. A broadcaster has not yet been attached.

Barry Jossen and Lucienne Papon will also executive produce, with Farah Jasmine Griffin, professor of English and comparative literature and African-American studies at Columbia University, acting as a consulting producer.

The series has won the support of Blake Hazard, a great-granddaughter of Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald and a trustee of the Fitzgerald estate, who also serves as a consulting producer alongside Griffin.

Hazard said: “I have long dreamt of a more diverse, inclusive version of Gatsby that better reflects the America we live in, one that might allow us all to see ourselves in Scott’s wildly romantic text.”

Hirst said: “Today, as America seeks to reinvent itself once again, is the perfect moment to look with new eyes at this timeless story, to explore its famous and iconic characters through the modern lens of gender, race and sexual orientation. Fitzgerald’s profoundly romantic vision does not prevent him examining and exposing the darker underbelly of the American experience, which is why the story speaks to both tragedy and hope, and why it continues to resonate today.”

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