Here’s Baz Luhrmann’s recipe for an epic blockbuster: take a literary classic, cut out the highbrow parts, stuff it with special effects, add a handful of glitter, stir it in the rhythm of whatever VIVA plays at the moment, and apply lots of dressing (designer, of course.) Killjoys in unfashionable glasses may complain, but audiences will devour your film like a pile of Nutella pancakes.
That’s exactly how he made Romeo + Juliet, Moulin Rouge! (based on La Traviatta), and now The Great Gatsby (which I kind of loved.) What should he direct next? Here’s my advice!
Alright, I doubt that Baz will ever run out of ideas, and even if, some teenager’s lame blog is the last place where he’d look for them. I’m sure he’d rather read, like, a dishwasher manual. Or open the fridge in search for inspiration (this one actually works! Or so I tell myself whenever I have something to write.) But – just in case – here are some great books he could consider pimping up. <Goes to the kitchen, grabs a yoghurt and a Kit Kat, comes back. Yeah, now I can continue.>
The Ladies’ Delight by Emile Zola: a novel set in a department store – need I say more? A 19-century department store, to be precise – so I’m sure it could benefit from some revamping, with Versace on the racks and Beyonce in the background. There’s also a love story there. Between young people. Who can be played by gorgeous Hollywood A-listers. And wear nice clothes. Hell yeah.
Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert: oh, that could be a smash hit, with pretty pastel dresses (Dior, maybe?), a wedding more massive than Kate & Will’s, a bit of adultery (just not too explicit, not to lose the 12A rating) and a dramatic death scene. Never mind the social commentary, symbols and stuff.
Ulysses by James Joyce: a day spent mostly walking up and down the streets of Dublin could be pretty exciting – if you fit it in two hours and spice it up with mind-blowing 3D effects. Eminem could play the lead role and rap the weirdest stream-of-consciousness fragments. Also, Ulysses is one of the books that everyone (including… Oh, never mind) pretends to have read and understood, so a recap of what actually happens there would be more than welcome.
Tristan and Iseult (legend): there’s love. There’s death. And there are the Middle Ages. Does anyone want to see some more of last season’s Gucci? Because I do. It also helps that previous adaptations were pretty horrid (remember that dreadful animation where they don’t even die?), so Baz’s film wouldn’t be compared to anything starring Robert Redford and Mia Farrow.
Hamlet by Stephen King (just kidding, of course it’s by that Globe guy): don’t laugh, guys. That’s what Luhrmann said he’s actually going to film next. New York Magazine suggested casting Damien Hirst’s For the Love of God as Yorick’s skull. I also think the monologue should be made into a song. This way the kids would finally memorize it.
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy – with fabulous crinoline dresses, top models in the cast, and snow in place of glitter. Oh wait. Joe Wright already did that.