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Books on the big screen -- 'Great Gatsby' to launch Cannes film festival

Baz Luhrmann's adaptation of "The Great Gatsby" will kick off the 66th Festival de Cannes, organizers announced today.

"It is a great honor for all those who have worked on 'The Great Gatsby' to open the Cannes Film Festival," Luhrmann 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 Saint-Raphaël."

The movie will be released May 15, the day of the Cannes screening, and willl be available in 2D and 3D versions. Stars include Leonardo DiCaprio as Jay Gatsby, Tobey Maguire as Nick Carraway and Carey Mulligan stars as Daisy Buchanan.

Judging from previews, the movie will have the same manic energy as Lurhmann's "Moulin Rouge." If it's half that good, it will surpass the tepid 1974 adaptation that starred Robert Redford and Mia Farrow. It could also continue the strong run of book adaptations that dominated the recent Oscars competition -- entries such as "Argo,""Life of Pi,""Silver Linings Playbook" and "Lincoln."

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