Maybe F. Scott Fitzgerald and Hollywood Just Don’t Mix

F. Scott Fitzgerald never fit in in Hollywood, where he came to write screenplays and ended up dying of a heart attack at 44. Maybe it’s fitting that Hollywood has such a tough time figuring out how to adapt his work.

This month, for Amazon canceled two projects by the “Great Gatsby” author: “Z: The Beginning of Everything” and “The Last Tycoon.” The Matt Bomer-starring “Tycoon” was Fitzgerald’s final novel, inspired by 1930s Hollywood. “Z” starred Christina Ricci as the author’s wife, Zelda Fitzgerald.

“There is a depth to Fitzgerald that Hollywood finds difficult to address,” David S. Brown, Elizabethtown College professor of history and author of “Paradise Lost: A Life of F. Scott Fitzgerald,” told TheWrap. “Amazon’s version of ‘The Last Tycoon’ focused on fashionable cliches about the Hollywood Dream without taking seriously Fitzgerald‘s broader questioning of a Hollywood culture that itself operated off of cliches.”

Also Read: Apple’s TV Content Push: Who Will Get a Piece of That $1 Billion?

A 1974 “Great Gatsby” adaptation starring Robert Redford and Mia Farrow disappointed at the box office. It won two Oscars — for music and costume design — but mixed reviews. It has a 39 on Rotten Tomatoes. The 2013 Baz Luhrman “Gatsby” adaptation, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, fared slightly better. It also earned two Oscars, for art direction and costume design, and did decently at the box office while scoring a 48 on Rotten Tomatoes.

The Oscar wins suggest that filmmakers are better at getting the feel of Fitzgerald than addressing his deeper themes. The author reflected his distaste for Hollywood in is short stories about Pat Hobby, an alcoholic, down-on-his-luck screenwriter.

“I suppose there is a consistency in Hollywood’s never quite getting Fitzgerald right,” Brown continued. “He loathed the place. As an artist, he rebelled against its rigid ‘team of writers’ approach and struggled as a drinker to play up to its sober expectations.”

The problem seems specific to Fitzgerald, because other TV literary adaptations are thriving. At the Emmy Awards Sunday, the night’s biggest winners included “The Handmaid’s Tale,” based on the novel by Margaret Atwood, and “Big Little Lies,” based on the novel by Liane Moriarty.

Also Read: Emmys: Biggest Snubs and Surprises, From ‘Stranger Things’ to Ann Dowd (Photos)

Neil Landau, author of “TV Outside the Box” and head of UCLA’s Writing for Television program, told TheWrap that Amazon may be pursuing a synergistic strategy of trying to find hit shows while also goosing book sales — since it did, after all, start as an online bookseller. He noted that the service’s other shows including the Michael Connelly adaptation “Bosch,” and the Philip K. Dick-inspired “Man in the High Castle.”

But those series may be more relatable in modern times. Landau suggested a so-called “Trump Effect” and wondered whether having a president who eschews leisure reading, combined with the nation’s current sensationalized news cycle, is leading the public to see certain literary period dramas as passé.

“F. Scott and Zelda seem tame,” Landau said. “Dystopias are in. Literary fiction is, apparently, out … at least for now.”

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F. Scott Fitzgerald never fit in in Hollywood, where he came to write screenplays and ended up dying of a heart attack at 44. Maybe it’s fitting that Hollywood has such a tough time figuring out how to adapt his work.

This month, for Amazon canceled two projects by the “Great Gatsby” author: “Z: The Beginning of Everything” and “The Last Tycoon.” The Matt Bomer-starring “Tycoon” was Fitzgerald’s final novel, inspired by 1930s Hollywood. “Z” starred Christina Ricci as the author’s wife, Zelda Fitzgerald.

“There is a depth to Fitzgerald that Hollywood finds difficult to address,” David S. Brown, Elizabethtown College professor of history and author of “Paradise Lost: A Life of F. Scott Fitzgerald,” told TheWrap. “Amazon’s version of ‘The Last Tycoon’ focused on fashionable cliches about the Hollywood Dream without taking seriously Fitzgerald‘s broader questioning of a Hollywood culture that itself operated off of cliches.”

A 1974 “Great Gatsby” adaptation starring Robert Redford and Mia Farrow disappointed at the box office. It won two Oscars — for music and costume design — but mixed reviews. It has a 39 on Rotten Tomatoes. The 2013 Baz Luhrman “Gatsby” adaptation, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, fared slightly better. It also earned two Oscars, for art direction and costume design, and did decently at the box office while scoring a 48 on Rotten Tomatoes.

The Oscar wins suggest that filmmakers are better at getting the feel of Fitzgerald than addressing his deeper themes. The author reflected his distaste for Hollywood in is short stories about Pat Hobby, an alcoholic, down-on-his-luck screenwriter.

“I suppose there is a consistency in Hollywood’s never quite getting Fitzgerald right,” Brown continued. “He loathed the place. As an artist, he rebelled against its rigid ‘team of writers’ approach and struggled as a drinker to play up to its sober expectations.”

The problem seems specific to Fitzgerald, because other TV literary adaptations are thriving. At the Emmy Awards Sunday, the night’s biggest winners included “The Handmaid’s Tale,” based on the novel by Margaret Atwood, and “Big Little Lies,” based on the novel by Liane Moriarty.

Neil Landau, author of “TV Outside the Box” and head of UCLA’s Writing for Television program, told TheWrap that Amazon may be pursuing a synergistic strategy of trying to find hit shows while also goosing book sales — since it did, after all, start as an online bookseller. He noted that the service’s other shows including the Michael Connelly adaptation “Bosch,” and the Philip K. Dick-inspired “Man in the High Castle.”

But those series may be more relatable in modern times. Landau suggested a so-called “Trump Effect” and wondered whether having a president who eschews leisure reading, combined with the nation’s current sensationalized news cycle, is leading the public to see certain literary period dramas as passé.

“F. Scott and Zelda seem tame,” Landau said. “Dystopias are in. Literary fiction is, apparently, out … at least for now.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

Emmys Slip to New All-Time Low in Early TV Ratings

Female-Fronted Shows Crushed It at the Emmys

Emmys 2017: Best and Worst Moments From Sean Spicer to '9 to 5' Reunion (Photos)

2017 Emmy Firsts: From Lena Waithe to 'The Handmaid's Tale' (Photos)

The Last Tycoon has gone extinct at Amazon

It’s been a bad week for the weirdly stuffed “F. Scott Fitzgerald show on Amazon” demographic, with THR reporting that the Fitzgerald adaptation The Last Tycoon has now been canceled by the streaming giant. The news comes shortly after the abrupt un-renewal of Christina Ricci’s Zelda Fitzgerald series Z: The Beginning

Read more…

It’s been a bad week for the weirdly stuffed “F. Scott Fitzgerald show on Amazon” demographic, with THR reporting that the Fitzgerald adaptation The Last Tycoon has now been canceled by the streaming giant. The news comes shortly after the abrupt un-renewal of Christina Ricci’s Zelda Fitzgerald series Z: The Beginning

Read more...

Amazon Cancels F. Scott Fitzgerald Drama Series ‘The Last Tycoon’

Amazon Studios has decided to close up shop on “The Last Tycoon,” pulling the plug on the expensive hour-long drama based on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s final, unfinished novel.

The show, which took place in 1930s Hollywood, starred Matt Bomer as film producer Monroe Stahr and Kelsey Grammer as his boss, Pat Brady, as the two battled for control of their studio. “The Last Tycoon” also featured Lily Collins, Dominique McElligott and Enzo Cilenti.

It’s the second drama canceled by the streaming giant in three days, as Amazon pulled the plug on Cristina Ricci’s Zelda Fitzgerald (F. Scott’s wife) series “Z,” which had been picked up for a second season before being cut loose. “The Last Tycoon” will end its run with nine episodes, the final eight of which debuted on Amazon Prime Video July 28.

Also Read: Christina Ricci’s Zelda Fitzgerald Series ‘Z’ Canceled by Amazon

Amazon’s apparent belt tightening in its content business comes as it prepares to spend $5 billion on a new headquarters — and after dropping nearly $14 billion on Whole Foods. However, the company remains one of Hollywood’s more aggressive spenders, with plenty of ambitious shows like “Transparent” and “Mozart in the Jungle.”

“The Last Tycoon” was originally adapted in a 1976 film directed by Elia Kazan starring Robert De Niro, Tony Curtis, Jack Nicholson and Robert Mitchum.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Jennifer Beals Joins Amazon’s F. Scott Fitzgerald Drama ‘The Last Tycoon’

Christina Ricci’s Zelda Fitzgerald Series ‘Z’ Canceled by Amazon

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Amazon Studios has decided to close up shop on “The Last Tycoon,” pulling the plug on the expensive hour-long drama based on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s final, unfinished novel.

The show, which took place in 1930s Hollywood, starred Matt Bomer as film producer Monroe Stahr and Kelsey Grammer as his boss, Pat Brady, as the two battled for control of their studio. “The Last Tycoon” also featured Lily Collins, Dominique McElligott and Enzo Cilenti.

It’s the second drama canceled by the streaming giant in three days, as Amazon pulled the plug on Cristina Ricci’s Zelda Fitzgerald (F. Scott’s wife) series “Z,” which had been picked up for a second season before being cut loose. “The Last Tycoon” will end its run with nine episodes, the final eight of which debuted on Amazon Prime Video July 28.

Amazon’s apparent belt tightening in its content business comes as it prepares to spend $5 billion on a new headquarters — and after dropping nearly $14 billion on Whole Foods. However, the company remains one of Hollywood’s more aggressive spenders, with plenty of ambitious shows like “Transparent” and “Mozart in the Jungle.”

“The Last Tycoon” was originally adapted in a 1976 film directed by Elia Kazan starring Robert De Niro, Tony Curtis, Jack Nicholson and Robert Mitchum.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Jennifer Beals Joins Amazon's F. Scott Fitzgerald Drama 'The Last Tycoon'

Christina Ricci's Zelda Fitzgerald Series 'Z' Canceled by Amazon

Amazon Kids Sets Fall Premiere Dates: 'Sigmund & the Sea Monsters,' 'If You Give a Mouse a Cookie' (Exclusive)

‘The Last Tycoon’ Canceled At Amazon After One Season

Amazon’s adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s unfinished novel The Last Tycoon has been canceled, Deadline has confirmed. The announcement of its cancellation comes shortly after the streaming giant axed Z: The Beginning Of Everything, another Fitzgerald-centric project starring Christina Ricci.
Written and directed by Billy Ray, the period drama starred Matt Bomer, Kelsey Grammer, Rosemarie DeWitt and Lily Collins and was inspired by the life of film mogul Irving…

Amazon’s adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s unfinished novel The Last Tycoon has been canceled, Deadline has confirmed. The announcement of its cancellation comes shortly after the streaming giant axed Z: The Beginning Of Everything, another Fitzgerald-centric project starring Christina Ricci. Written and directed by Billy Ray, the period drama starred Matt Bomer, Kelsey Grammer, Rosemarie DeWitt and Lily Collins and was inspired by the life of film mogul Irving…

‘The Last Tycoon’ Canceled at Amazon

Just a couple of weeks after Amazon debuted “The Last Tycoon,” the streaming service has abruptly canceled the F. Scott Fitzgerald drama, Variety confirmed on Saturday. Amazon Studios scrapped plans for a second season of another Fitzgerald drama, “Z: The Beginning of Everything,” starring Christina Ricci, just a couple of days ago. Both cancellations seem to… Read more »

Just a couple of weeks after Amazon debuted “The Last Tycoon,” the streaming service has abruptly canceled the F. Scott Fitzgerald drama, Variety confirmed on Saturday. Amazon Studios scrapped plans for a second season of another Fitzgerald drama, “Z: The Beginning of Everything,” starring Christina Ricci, just a couple of days ago. Both cancellations seem to... Read more »

Sony Swings To Strong Q1 Profit; Pictures Division Narrows Losses To $86M

Sony Corp today reported a surge in first-quarter operating income with a 180.5% jump to 157.6B yen, or $1.43B, for the period ending June 30, 2017. Net income rose to 80.9B yen or $734M (all conversions are at today’s rates) for a 282.1% increase. The sharp hikes were largely down to a return to stability in the image sensors business after a devastating 2016 earthquake. Sony Pictures Entertainment narrowed its losses to 9.5B yen ($86.2M).
Sales and operating revenue in…

Sony Corp today reported a surge in first-quarter operating income with a 180.5% jump to 157.6B yen, or $1.43B, for the period ending June 30, 2017. Net income rose to 80.9B yen or $734M (all conversions are at today’s rates) for a 282.1% increase. The sharp hikes were largely down to a return to stability in the image sensors business after a devastating 2016 earthquake. Sony Pictures Entertainment narrowed its losses to 9.5B yen ($86.2M). Sales and operating revenue in…