Australia director Baz Luhrmann's next project will take him to the decadence of the Jazz Age for an adaptation of The Great Gatsby.

F Scott Fitzgerald's 1925 novel tells of the glamorous excesses of the roaring Twenties and the amorality that prefaced the Great Depression.

Already adapted for Broadway and four films - the most famous of which starred Robert Redford in 1974 - The Great Gatsby is told through the eyes of bond salesman Nick Carraway who witness the self-destruction of mysterious self-made millionaire Jay Gatsby.

Luhrmann has purchased the rights to the novel and through no script currently exists, the Moulin Rouge! helmer believes The Great Gatsby can shine a light on the world's current economic problems.

"If you wanted to show a mirror to people that says, 'You've been drunk on money,' they're not going to want to see it. But if you reflected that mirror on another time they'd be willing to," he told the Hollywood Reporter.

"People will need an explanation of where we are and where we've been, and The Great Gatsby can provide that explanation."

Luhrmann also promised his Fitzgerald adaptation will come to the screen far faster than his latest effort Australia, which opens in the UK on Boxing Day,

"I'm going to move faster than I have before. I'd be surprised if it's another seven years," he explained.

The Antipodean director also defended the lukewarm critical and commercial reaction to Australia, saying the epic drama had been ecstatically received by countless fans.

He remarked: "A lot of reviewers like Australia. And we're making people cry; I know because they write to us.

"But there are those that don't get it. A lot of the film scientists don't get it. And it's not just that that they don't get it, but they hate it and they hate me, and they think I'm the black hole of cinema. They say, 'He shouldn't have made it, and he should die.' "

19/12/2008 11:52:40