William Joyce to produce 1st animated version of “The Great Gatsby”


SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Academy Award-Winner and Shreveport native William Joyce says he is working to produce the first animated version of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s 1925 classic, “The Great Gatsby.”

It’s a project Joyce says has been a dream for decades, ever since one of his high school English teachers insisted he read the book.

Movie poster for F. Scott Fitzgerald’s 1925 classic, “The Great Gatsby.”

“Everyone got to pick which book they were going to write about and she said, ‘You, Bill Joyce, are going read ‘The Great Gatsby,'” Joyce shared. “That book changed me, changed how I view life and it’s been a part and an inspiration in almost every story I’ve written since.”

Joyce will direct the feature, based on a script written by novelist, screenwriter, and illustrator Brian Selznick. The two are currently working with a global team on an animated short titled ‘Mr. Spam Gets a New Hat,’ which will premiere in the summer of 2021. This short film incorporates revolutionary new techniques which will also be used in the creation of the animated version of ‘The Great Gatsby.’

Joyce says while others have brought the book to the big screen, something has been missing from their adaptations.

“They never quite captured the book right. There’s something so dreamlike in Fitzgerald’s prose and about the book itself that animation could be the key to telling the story in a more dreamlike way,” Joyce explained.

Collaborators from Europe, Asia and North America are working together virtually due to the pandemic.

“We are making this thing without ever having been in the room together,” said Joyce. “I can ask the camera man who may be in Ireland to move the camera over about six inches on this virtual set we have and in real time that will happen. That has never been possible before.”

The animated film is scheduled to be released in 2023.

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