Baz Luhrmann’s ‘The Great Gatsby’ to open Cannes Film Festival

Luhrmann's 3D epic will be screened in Cannes on May 15 - two days before it arrives in UK cinemas

Baz Luhrmann‘s The Great Gatsby is open this year’s Cannes Film Festival on May 15, organisers have confirmed.

The Great Gatsby will screen out of competition, meaning it is ineligible for the Palme D’Or, the festival’s top prize, which was won last year by acclaimed French film Amour. It will be the second Luhrmann movie to open Cannes after Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge! kicked off events in 2001.

The director said in a statement: “We are thrilled to return to a country, place and festival that has always been so close to our hearts, not only because my first film Strictly Ballroom was screened there 21 years ago but also because F Scott Fitzgerald wrote some of the most poignant and beautiful passages of his extraordinary novel just a short distance away at a villa outside St Raphael.”

Shot in 3D, Luhrmann’s lavish adaptation of the classic F Scott Fitzgerald novel stars Leonardo DiCaprio in the title role alongside Carey Mulligan as Daisy Buchanan and Tobey Maguire as Nick Carraway. The director shot The Great Gatsby in his native Australia, though the action is set in New York and Long Island’s North Shore during the summer of 1922.

Originally, The Great Gatsby was supposed to open on Christmas Day last year (2012). However, Warner Bros later made a decision to push back the release date “to ensure this unique film reaches the largest audience possible”. It is now due to arrive in UK cinemas on May 17 – two days after its Cannes screening.