Joel Edgerton joins 'Gatsby': Is he Leo's equal? -- EXCLUSIVE PHOTO


Image Credit: Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images

Australian actor Joel Edgerton will play Tom Buchanan in Baz Luhrmann's adaptation of The Great Gatsby, replacing Ben Affleck, who dropped out to direct Argo. A spokesperson for the 36-year-old actor confirmed the deal, and Luhrmann told Deadline that Edgerton "could credibly be (as F. Scott Fitzgerald describes him) 'one of the most powerful ends that ever played football at New Haven,' had five-star acting chops and in the big dramatic showdown scenes between Gatsby and Tom, [and could]

hold the screen against Leonardo DiCaprio.” This exclusive photo of Edgerton shows the actor in character as he works with Luhrmann on the project.

Edgerton, who’s been excellent in some smaller films, brings an unsettling intensity to all his performances. Back in 2009, he starred opposite Cate Blanchett in a Sydney production of A Streetcar Named Desire that later came to New York. In last year’s Animal Kingdom, he played a savvy insider to a suburban Aussie crime family. This September, he stars opposite Tom Hardy in the brawling-brother film, Warrior, and he’ll be the star of this year’s The Thing remake. Still, the role that most people remember him for is a bit part in Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith, where he played a young Uncle Owen.

Going toe-to-toe with DiCaprio will be an enormous step up in class, and I mean that in the boxing parlance, not some social sense. He won’t loom over the six-foot DiCaprio like the taller Affleck would have, and currently lacks the resume and celebrity that would automatically establish him as DiCaprio’s onscreen equal. His previous work hints that he can bring the menace, but he’s going to have to fight for respect.

Do you think Edgerton has what it takes to be a believable threat to DiCaprio’s Gatsby? What have you seen him in that makes you think this is a genius move by Luhrmann?

Read more:
‘The Great Gatsby’ could be in 3-D, says Baz Luhrmann
Baz Luhrmann’s ‘Great Gatsby’ update: He’s now casting Jordan, he’ll reveal his research reading list on his website
Carey Mulligan set as Daisy; Who should play Jordan, Tom, and Myrtle in ‘The Great Gatsby’?

Comments (69 total) Add your comment
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  • John

    He’s terrific. Great casting.

    • Chichi

      He is Conan O’Brien with testosterone! Sessy!

      • Big Walt

        I was thinking a younger fitter Ricky Gervais.

  • ziggy

    He certainly LOOKS like a perfect Tom Buchanan (my goodness, he’s fine!)

    • kate middleton

      Yeah, he looks perfect. I had no idea that Ben Affleck was slated to play Tom at one point. Ummm, why did Baz ever think that would be a good idea?

      • Matt

        Why does everyone hate on Ben Affleck. He’s a fine actor (a GREAT director, btw), and he certainly looks like an athletic aristocrat. So nyah, nyah-nyah-nyah, nyah!

      • Kevin

        I actually thought Affleck was a great choice. Watch Dazed and Confused again… he plays a**hole very well.

      • kate middleton

        I think he’s a terrible actor….but he has done a nice job directing.

      • Nerdista

        I agree matt, Ben is a really great actor!

    • Gazza

      I love Edgerton, and let me tell you, it’s amazing what a shave can do- he looks gorgeous!!! Now I’m looking forward to this movie even more, 3D or not.

    • hc

      I always pictured Tom Buchanan with lighter hair – like blonde/brown.

  • tracy bluth

    He seems like a good choice. I also saw they cast someone who only just graduated a drama academy to play Jordan.

  • Mike

    If anyone saw Animal Kingdom, then they would know that this guy has some great acting chops. He is prime for a real breakout with all the stuff he is in coming up. Seems like a great get.

  • Tara

    So tired of “great American stories” being played out by non American actors.

    • Eve

      I agree! I saw a movie preview with Anne Hathaway doing a British accent and just didn’t get why they didn’t hire one of the many talented British actresses out there. I’m sure she wasn’t the only one who could play that part. I do think it’s easier for people to imitate and English accent than for the American’s who try to do other accents.

      • Conor O’Brien

        thats what acting is all about playing something your not!

    • jk

      Same. “The Great Gatsby” is a quintessentially American story, and two of the leads are a Brit and an Australian? Even though this guy has a great look, I’m bummed.

    • Nerdista

      EW. I hate this opinion. It’s so…weird. Who cares?! I’m really tired of old folks playing teenagers and humans playing aliens and rich people playing poor people. Get over it! It’s called acting!

    • Fez

      Yeah, because foreigners can’t pretend -act- to be Yanks, right?

      Come on. Jesus, I’d be more worried about the director than the cast. I don’t know that Fitzgerald would want *that* many velvet curtains. Or songs sung by Bono…

      • JD

        As a former high school teacher who taught Gatsby every year for six years, I always imagined Luhrmann filming this book; it’s got to be better than the Coppola version which SUUUUHHHCKS…

    • kate middleton

      Eh, it doesn’t bother me for Great Gatsby. I can see people’s point about some of the superheroes – like Superman (although I think Henry Cavill is amazing). Or if Captain America was played by a Brit. But I’d rather have the right actor, regardless of nationality, than a bad American one (i.e. Ben Affleck).

      • Nerdista

        Superman is from another planet…so…

    • Susi

      You have got to be kidding! Do you know how many classic British/Australian/Every other nationality on earth stories have been recast with American actors by Hollywood? At least these are talented actors in the great American story. The reverse has not always been true. In the end, as long as the actors are fantastic fits for the role and can play it (and the accent) convincingly, what does it matter where they are from?

  • Dave

    Is he Leo’s equal? Maybe not. Is he better than Affleck? I’ve never seen him act, but I have seen Ben, and this might not be hard to do. Though the Town was decent.

    • no to affleck

      Leo would just clobber Ben Affleck.

      • kimmy

        thankfully, ben has found his calling as a directer. hopefully we won’t have to watch him act anymore….unless he is directing himself.

        isn’t that crazy? ben can direct himself and be decent in a movie, but he sucks in everything else!

    • Brett

      Oh, come on. David Schwimmer is Leo’s “equal.” Let’s not put DiCaprio on so high a pedestal that we forget his many limitations.

      • kate middleton

        ^ LOL. I think Leo’s quite good, but he’s been blessed with working on good films with good directors, which helps his cred.

      • Nerdista

        Ha! I totally agree. Leo is always the same character. He’s really stressed about something and he’s very serious! He tried to be light-hearted and romantic in Titanic and I thought he was painful to watch. I think he and Kristen Stewart are in the same league.

    • stella

      Oh, he so is. He stole the show in his 10 minutes of screentime in Animal Kingdom and it arguably made him the rising star he is right now. They don’t need to make him so handsome, though. Tom’s very masculine, a bit of a brute.

  • julie

    loooooved him in Animal Kingdom and plan on seeing Warrior, a film i wouldn’t normally see, because he’s in it. i’d love to see some of the other Aussie actors from Animal Kingdom in more films as well. he was fantastic, but so were the others. not to mention Jacki Weaver (robbed of an Oscar this year, imo.)

  • Cel

    He was terrific in both Animal Kingdom and The Square. I’m sure he’ll do a great job in this as well.

  • lefty

    Now if only Tobey Maguire would drop out and be replaced by someone cool…

    • Ap

      Well, Nick isn’t supposed to be cool. But…I do understand your point about Tobey Maguire.

      But this guy would make an excellent Tom.

    • Jillian

      Nick is supposed to be introverted and withdrawn, an observer. Tobey Maguire is actually pretty well cast here, I think. And the “new” Tom is smoldering with the disdain that is so Tom Buchanan. Looking forward to it!

  • Angela

    I’m sure he’ll be a good onscreen rival, but I guess my problem is that, although I really enjoyed the book and I like a lot of the cast members, I don’t care about this production. Glad Ben Affleck chose Argo instead.

  • edger crap

    From this Aussie’s perspective, Joel Edgerton is terrible!! He ruins pretty much every film he’s in!!

  • Dale

    At least Bradley Cooper did not get the part…

  • Liz Lemon

    Interesting. It’s nice to see him so cleaned up. I loved him in King Arthur with Clive Owen.

  • gv

    I’m sure he’ll be fine, but I was actually looking forward to Ben Affleck as Tom. I know everyone likes to beat up on Ben, but I thought he was a good fit for the character (and I just reread Gatsby a couple of months ago).

    • tracy bluth

      I agree, but Joel seems like a good choice as well.

  • heromommy

    Who’s playing Daisy??

    • tracy bluth

      Carey Mulligan. I think she will be brilliant.

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