‘The Great Gatsby’ Entered the Public Domain A Year Ago — Here’s How Creators are Reimagining It

Here’s what’s happened with ‘The Great Gatsby’ since it entered the public domain in 2021.

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great gatsby

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby was published on April 10, 1925, and entered the public domain in 2021 after the 95 year United States copyright law protection was up. Yes, there have already been movie, television, and stage adaptations in the past — but now creators have the freedom to take more creative liberties with the story. Here is what’s been created or announced since April 10, 2021!

Florence Welch’s Broadway musical

The Great Gatsby' Musical From Florence Welch Headed For Broadway – Deadline

In April 2021, a Broadway musical adaptation of The Great Gatsby was announced, featuring Florence Welch of Florence + the Machine at the helm of music and lyrics, along with playwright Martyna Majok and composer and producer Thomas Bartlett (AKA Doveman).

In a statement, Welch said “[The Great Gatsby] contains some of my favorite lines in literature. Musicals were my first love, and I feel a deep connection to Fitzgerald’s broken romanticism. It is an honour to have been offered the chance to recreate this book in song .”

These won’t be the first songs of Welch’s devoted to The Great Gatsby — Florence + the Machine contributed the song “Over the Love” to the soundtrack of Baz Lurhmann’s 2013 film adaptation. It’s definitely worth a listen, and the lyrics are a great example of how attuned she is to the novel’s details.

Now there’s green light in my eyes
And my lover on my mind
And I sing from the piano
Tear my yellow dress and
Cry and cry and cry
Over the love of you

There hasn’t been much news about the Broadway adaptation in the year since it was announced, but at least we have that one breadcrumb in the meantime.

Graphic novel adaptation

The Great Gatsby: The Graphic Novel: Fitzgerald, F. Scott, Fordham, Fred,  Morton, Aya: 9781982144524: Amazon.com: Books

A Great Gatsby graphic novel had been published in Australia in 2007, but not in the United States until more recently due to copyright protections. It is re-interpreted by Fred Fordham and illustrated by Aya Morton.

The graphic novel was published by Scribner and includes an introduction by F. Scott Fitzgerald’s great granddaughter, Blake Hazard.

Check out these gorgeously illustrated panels showing Nick Carraway’s arrival to Gatsby’s party.

The Great Gatsby: The Graphic Novel: Fitzgerald, F. Scott, Fordham, Fred,  Morton, Aya: 9781982144524: Amazon.com: Books

Animated film adaptation

The Great Gatsby' Being Adapted into Animated Feature at DNEG - Variety

In February 2021, an animated feature Great Gatsby film was announced to be in the works. It is to be animated by DNeg Feature Animation, with artists from ‘Toy Story’ attached. The script will be written by Brian Selznick, author of The Invention of Hugo Cabret

In a statement, director William Joyce said “the previous film versions were constrained by live action, but innovative animation could finally realise the elusive quality of the novel.”

Much like with Florence Welch’s Broadway musical, there hasn’t been much of an update on this project just yet in the past year.

Miniseries television adaptation

The Great Gatsby' TV Series in the Works (Exclusive) – The Hollywood  Reporter

In January 2021 it was announced that Michael Hirst is attached to write a Great Gatsby miniseries that will focus on the African American community in 1920s New York. Hirst is best known for the series Vikings.

Hirst told The Hollywood Reporter, “as the critic Lionel Trilling once wrote: ‘The Great Gatsby is still as fresh as when it first appeared, it has even gained in weight and relevance.’ Today, as America seeks to reinvent itself once again, is the perfect moment to look with new eyes at this timeless story, to explore its famous and iconic characters through the modern lens of gender, race, and sexual orientation.”

The series will focus on the “dark underbelly” of the Jazz Age beyond the plights of the novel’s characters, to further expose the sense of a fractured American dream. It will be a more diverse and inclusive take on Gatsby, with a wider scope than just the original cast of characters.

Further, the president of A+E studios said that “Michael stays true to Fitzgerald’s novel while building on that legacy with a modern vision that will be more reflective of America both then and now, including an enhanced exploration of the female characters.”

At the moment, there is no release date set or cast attached to the project.

Prequel novel

Amazon.com: Nick: 9780316529761: Smith, Michael Farris: Books

In January 2021, writer Michael Farris Smith published Nick, a prequel to The Great Gatsby. It focuses on Nick Carraway’s life before moving to Long Island where the events of the original novel take place.

Nick describes Nick Carraway’s time as a soldier in World War I and life in Paris and New Orleans. It received mixed reviews, with some critics seeing it as a worthwhile character study and other disavowing it for not adding anything new and compelling to our understanding of Nick Carraway.

Michael Farris Smith wrote the novel in 2014, and only later was told that he would have to wait until 2021 for copyright protection to expire before it could be published — and it was on January 5th by Little, Brown and Company.

Bonus: ‘Muppets Present The Great Gatsby’?


Ben Crew, a documentary filmmaker and screenwriter, wrote a 140-page script titled “Muppets Present ‘The Great Gatsby'” in 2021. As Crew is unaffiliated with the Muppets’ studio, it’s technically a fan-made project not intended to be put into production.


According to The Verge, Crew threw himself into the project during lockdown, and ended up writing a fully fledged take on The Muppets meets The Great Gatsby, complete with Muppet staples like fourth-wall breaks and musical moments. You can read and download the full script here!