‘The Great Gatsby’ Scheduled for Christmas 2012; Pits Leonardo

For Leonardo DiCaprio fans, it looks like Christmas has come early. Times two. Warner Bros. announced on Friday that ‘The Great Gatsby,’ with DiCaprio playing the lead role of Jay Gatsby, will arrive in theaters on Dec. 25, 2012 — the same day that ‘Django Unchained,’ with DiCaprio co-starring as the villainous slave owner Calvin Candie, hits theaters. Totally reasonable planning, everyone!

To be fair, The Weinstein Company has had ‘Unchained’ set for next Christmas since June. The Quentin Tarantino-directed release is staffing up a major cast — in addition to DiCaprio, the film co-stars Samuel L. Jackson, Christophe Waltz, Kurt Russell, Don Johnson and Jamie Foxx as the titular revenge-seeking slave — and should start filming sometime this year.

Which is what makes this decision by Warner Bros. all the more curious. The studio already has a major December 2012 release lined up with the first half of Peter Jackson’s two-part ‘Hobbit’ adventure; ‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey’ hits theaters on Dec. 14, 2012. Not only that, but December 2012 is loaded with five other major releases: ‘Les Miserables’ (with potentially Hugh Jackman and Russell Crowe in lead roles), ‘Great Hope Springs’ (with Steve Carell and Meryl Streep), Judd Apatow’s non-sequel sequel to ‘Knocked Up,’ Ang Lee’s ‘Life of Pi’ and ‘World War Z’ with Brad Pitt all open between Dec. 7 and Dec. 25. Now ‘The Great Gatsby’ is going to slide in there to compete for holiday season movie dollars? Did director Baz Luhrmann have it in his contract that Warner Bros. must release his ambitious 3D re-imagining of ‘The Great Gatsby’ on Christmas?

Perhaps. As of now, both DiCaprio films will open together. Considering there’s still 14 months before this potential pile-up actually happens, don’t be surprised if that changes before actually happening.

Starring Tobey Maguire, Joel Edgerton, Carey Mulligan and Isla Fisher, ‘The Great Gatsby’ will hit theaters on Dec. 25, 2012.

[via Deadline]

[Photo: Getty]

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