It’s safe to say that we were awash in adaptations of The Great Gatsby even before the copyright expired at the end of 2020—from opera to ballet to stage to film to video games to radio, not to mention television and er, film. But since then, the re-envisionings (or at least the announcements thereof) have come in a deluge, as we are, shall we say, borne back ceaselessly into the past, with a prequel, a graphic novel, an animated feature, a “diverse, inclusive” miniseries, a fanfic written by a college class (and then optioned for film), a Florence Welch musical, and also a totally different musical, which producers have announced is coming to Broadway this spring, starring Jeremy Jordan as Gatsby and Eva Noblezada as Daisy.
“The lavish production will join a spring Broadway season packed with new musicals at a moment when many industry leaders are concerned that there do not seem to be enough patrons to keep most of the shows afloat,” writes Michael Paulson in The New York Times. But the show, which premiered at the Paper Mill Playhouse last fall, was the highest grossing show in the venue’s history. Which at least suggests that—despite widespread grumbling about our current state of global IP purgatory and my strong personal feeling that the answer to the question posed by this headline is no, after all the novel is unfortunately perfect and you almost certainly have a copy in your house already—people are still interested in new versions of Fitzgerald’s classic American story. Maybe it will . . . save Broadway?
So we beat on, etc.