After both losing out on the lead role in Tony Gilroy’s “The Bourne Legacy” (seriously, do these guys hate Jeremy Renner or what?), increasingly in demand rising stars Joel Edgerton and Luke Evans are going head to head once again for another high profile project. THR reports that Baz Luhrmann read both guys for the part of Tom Buchanan in his new all-star 3D adaptation of “The Great Gatsby”.
The role had originally been offered to the much more famous Ben Affleck, but his scheduling couldn’t be worked around his directorial venture, the political thriller “Argo”. THR insiders say both Edgerton and Evans took part in readings for the role this week, though no decision has been made. Whichever actor is cast will join an A-List ensemble that includes Leonardo DiCaprio as Jay Gatsby, Carey Mulligan as Daisy Buchanan, Tobey Maguire as Nick Carraway and Isla Fisher as Myrtle Wilson. Earlier this week Aussie newcomer Elizabeth Debicki also joined the cast as Jordan Baker. Earlier reports indicated Luhrmann would like to give the role to a fellow Australian countryman, though it remains to be seen if this gives an edge to Aussie Edgerton over the British Evans.
After a breakout performance in last year’s Australian crossover drama “Animal Kingdom”, Edgerton has been sought for one high profile role after another, famously declared Gilroy’s favorite for “Bourne” though studio pressure passed the role to Renner instead. He turned down the titular role in “Snow White and the Huntsman” and was also shortlisted for a lead in “The Hunger Games”, but ultimately decided to make Kathryn Bigelow’s “Kill Bin Laden” his next project after wrapping dramedy “The Odd Life of Timothy Green”.
Evans’ career has geared more mainstream than Edgerton’s, with roles in big budget actioners like “Clash of the Titans” and the upcoming “Immortals” and “The Three Musketeers”, though he has serious dramatic chops as shown in Gemma Arterton dramedy “Tamara Drewe”. Evans is such a star in the making that producers are even building an action movie just for him.
Let’s just hope Jeremy Renner isn’t lurking in the background!