How Baz Luhrmann’s ‘The Great Gatsby’ Is Spreading the American Dream

Just hours before hopping a plane to premiere The Great Gatsby in China, director Baz Luhrmann sat down with us to discuss the significance of showing his adaption of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s iconic American fiction to Chinese audiences.

“There’s this fascination with the American Dream,” Luhrmann enthused. “And I’m so intrigued about it.”

That’s what he found when he opened an account on Sina Weibo — a Chinese microblogging site akin to a hybrid of Facebook and Twitter — for the film. Almost immediately, there were 10,000 followers. Two hours later, that number jumped to 50,000. Within just 24 hours, the account hit 170,000 followers.

“I’m completely unknown (there.) My films are not known at all,” Luhrmann explained. “Now, Leonardo DiCaprio, that’s a different story. It does show that there’s an immense interest in The Great Gatsby. And what I’m getting back from the responses is these three words: Leonardo, of course, the romance, but the American Dream.”

The Great Gatsby will debut Friday in China — the world’s second biggest movie market after the United States — which only allows 34 foreign films to be shown each year.

Watch the interview with Lurhmann, above. Pick up <em>The Great Gatsby</em> on Blu-ray (in 3D, too!), in stores now.