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Baz Luhrmann Reveals A Prince Song Was Cut From The Great Gatsby

Prince wrote a song for 2013’s The Great Gatsby that was ultimately cut from the film, reveals director Baz Luhrmann. Adapted from the 1925 F. Scott Fitzgerald novel, Luhrmann’s film came after the 1974 adaptation starring Robert Redford. The novel is a historic examination of the American jazz age, digging into the class and racial divides of the country at the time to critique the opulence of the wealthy during the Roaring ’20s. Luhrmann’s film adaptation of the novel starred Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, Carey Mulligan, Joel Edgerton, and Isla Fisher and leaned into the director’s signature style of extravagance.


Despite some stellar performances and impressive visual feats, 2013’s The Great Gatsby premiered to mixed reviews, largely due to its soundtrack, produced by Sean “Jay-Z” Carter. Some took issue with the use of modern pop and hip-hop music, which was described as anachronistic. While those viewers and critics found that music performed by Beyoncé and Lana Del Rey broke the immersion created by Luhrmann’s evocative setting, the music created an ironic contrast that highlighted the influence of African-American culture on American society. Now, Luhrmann has revealed that the memorable soundtrack was almost very different.

Related: Every Movie Leonardo DiCaprio Has Died In

Luhrmann spoke about The Great Gatsby‘s music at this year’s BAFTA’s Life In Pictures event in London, reported on by Variety, revealing that iconic pop singer Prince Rogers Nelson wrote a song for The Great Gatsby that never made it into the film. The song was eventually replaced by Lana Del Rey’s “Young and Beautiful,” which recurs throughout the movie. See Luhrmann’s comment below:

“Prince had worked on a song for six months, and then suddenly decided to write a new one, and it wasn’t right.”

How Young And Beautiful Impacted The Great Gatsby

A Prince song in the flashy film would certainly have been memorable, as well as serving as a lasting gift for Prince fans after his death in 2016. With the singer’s combination of funk, rock, pop, jazz, and new wave sounds, his style would have fit right into Luhrmann’s vision of an extravagant The Great Gatsby. However, Luhrmann’s statement that the song Prince wound up writing wasn’t right for the movie led to “Young and Beautiful” making its way in, and the Del Rey song has had a lasting legacy since. Used as recurring romantic theme for the characters of Gatsby (DiCaprio) and Daisy (Mulligan), the lush pop ballad was reworked by a classical orchestra, giving it a rich sound. The Del Rey song, despite seeming romantic, cast into light the selfish, shallow undertones of the couple and the story, becoming a lasting symbol of Daisy and Gatsby’s tragic affair. It also took home a Grammy Award for Best Song Written for Visual Media in 2014.

Though it’s unfortunate that viewers were deprived of a Prince song in The Great Gatsby, “Young and Beautiful” has long justified its presence in the film. Almost 10 years after The Great Gatsby, Luhrmann has produced another opulent period piece infused with modern music with Elvis, starring Austin Butler, this time with hits from Doja Cat and Swae Lee. Fans of Luhrmann’s work can see the King of Rock’s biopic available to stream on HBO Max.

Next: Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis Biopic Could Fix The Great Gatsby’s MistakesSource: Variety

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