The Great Gatsby hits theaters this Friday, and we’ve created an excellent guide which includes details about the main characters, and its symbolism in a mostly spoiler-free guide for those who wish to brush up on the classic novel before seeing it in theaters. (Minor spoilers)

Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby is the fifth film adaptation of Fitzgerald’s novel. The most recent adaptation was in 2000, the most famous being the 1974 film. This 2013 adaptation with Leonardo DiCaprio as “The Great Gatsby” will undoubtedly be the most modern relative to the era it was created. Due to technological advances, and with rapper Jay-Z as the executive producer of the score – this should give the film a more unique, 21st-century feel to the 1920s story.

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby is one of the most famous and beloved pieces of American literature. Although Fitzgerald only wrote four novels, The Great Gatsby is undoubtedly the most famous, and still just as breathtaking as it was when it was first published in 1925. Fitzgerald wrote The Great Gatsby as a social commentary and criticism of the rich in the 1920s – yet makes the basic plot relatable regardless of the historical context.

Characters

great gatsby small tobeyNick Carraway (Tobey Maguire) – The narrator, the entire story is told from his perspective. He is a former Yale student and World War I veteran. He lives outside of New York in West Egg (Long Island) selling bonds, and is Gatsby’s next door neighbor. Although in many scenes he is merely a fly on the wall, the entire sequence of the story wouldn’t have occurred if he didn’t move to New York.

great gatsby daisy buchananDaisy Buchanan (Carey Mulligan) – Nick’s second-cousin once removed who lives across the bay from NIck in East Egg. A young, carefree, and beautiful flapper, she had a romantic relationship with Gatsby prior to marrying her husband, Tom Buchanan.

Tom Buchanan (Joel Edgerton) – Daisy’s husband and Nick’s former classmate from Yale. An arrogant and highly tempered millionaire, he cheats on Daisy throughout the story with many other woman.

Jay Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio) – A very mysterious millionaire and the next-door neighbor of Nick. Throwing extravagant parties that are stereotypical of the 1920s, Gatsby is obsessed with Daisy since he first met her five years earlier when he was stationed in the South during World War I.

great gatsby jordan bakerJordan Baker (Elizabeth Debicki) – Daisy’s best friend and a professional golfer. In the novel, she is Nick’s girlfriend for most of the book, and provides Nick company when situations get sticky between Daisy, Tom, and Gatsby. Jordan is also considered a cheat, as Nick describes her as not just a golf cheat, but a cheat at life.

Myrtle Wilson (Isla Fisher) – One of Tom’s main mistresses, she is promiscuous and finds refuge in Tom from her husband, George. Myrtle is the character who essentially intertwines the entire story together. Nearly every character is connected to her in some significant way.

great gatsby meyerGeorge Wilson (Jason Clarke) – Myrtle’s husband and the owner of a garage between Long Island and New York City. Although somewhat unaware of his wife’s affair and not the smartest person who lived, he loves Myrtle and is faithful to her.

Meyer Wolfsheim (Amitabh Bachchan) – A powerful gangster, Gatsby tells Nick that he fixed the 1919 World Series. We don’t ever know a whole lot about Meyer. Beyond the fact that he’s a business associate and a close friend of Gatsby’s, all we know is that he’s an inhabitant of New York’s underworld.

“Owl-eyes” (Max Cullen) – A man that Nick meets in Gatsby’s library during the first party Nick attends. He claims Gatsby is a hoax, and there is no real person of Gatsby. Owl Eyes simply cannot believe that Gatsby has real books in his library, and he seems to have a real fascination for his lifestyle.

Symbolism

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The Valley of Ashes – The Valley of Ashes lays between West Egg (where Nick and Gatsby live) and New York City; thus, they pass through the valley when traveling between their homes and the city. It’s a grey and dreary area full of industrial workers, which represents the gradual decay and emptiness of the wealthy class.

The Eyes of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg – These eyes behind a gold-rimmed pair of glasses are painted on a billboard that sits above the Valley of Ashes. Because Fitzgerald didn’t clearly define what they stand for, the meaning of the eyes is open-ended and which lead to a few possible answers. They could represent God watching over all of society and judging the rich and the poor – anytime a character goes to or from the city and acts in sinful ways, they always drive past Eckleburg’s ever-watchful eyes. However, they also represent the loss of morals and shift to commercialism and obsession with wealth in the 1920s America. The eyes literally advertise an optometrist promoting his business, hence the shift in measuring success in terms of wealth, as demonstrated throughout Gatsby. The old billboard in the desolate Valley of Ashes, just like human morals and values in the rich class in the 1920s, is neglected.

The Green Light – Gatsby’s mansion is directly across the bay from Daisy’s house. There is a green light that flashes at the end of her dock that Gatsby sees every night. The light is a symbol of working towards dreams and holding onto hope, yet the grand dream in reality will never be as pleasant as imagined. The green light is not only symbolic for Gatsby trying to win Daisy, but also for the quest to achieve the American dream.

Be sure to check out our review, and the latest trailer below.

Will you see ‘The Great Gatsby’ this weekend?

Marvel revealed today that a new television series, Legion, has been picked up by FX for the 2017 season!

Legion has been picked up by FX for an 8-episode season to air early in 2017. The series is being described as, “The story of a troubled young man who may be more than human.” Dan Stevens, Rachel Keller, Jean Smart, Aubrey Plaza, Jeremie Harris, Amber Midthunder, Katie Aselton, and Bill Irwin are set to star in the series, which will begin filming this summer in Vancouver.

Legion will follow the story of David Haller, who has struggled with mental illness since he was a teenager. He’s been in and out of psychiatric hospitals ever since being diagnosed as schizophrenic. However, a strange encounter with another patient has David wondering if the voices he hears and his visions might be real.

FX President of Original Programming Nick Grad teased the series by saying, “We’ve come to expect excellence from Noah Hawley and with Legion he has delivered another major creative achievement. Just as he did in reimagining Fargo, he is bringing an entirely new aesthetic and sensibility to the enormously popular and richly represented X-Men world.”

Executive Producer and Head of Marvel TV Jeph Loeb added, “Marvel Television is thrilled to not only have our first partnership with FX go to series, but working with the enormously talented Noah Hawley makes it even better. From the first time we heard Noah’s vision to his exceptional script and cast through the extraordinary filming of the pilot, we knew the series would be incredible.”

In the comics David Haller is the son of Professor Charles Xavier and Gabrielle Haller. A mutant like his father, David also suffers from several mental illnesses, including dissociative identity disorder. Each of his personalities controls one of his superpowers. David eventually joined his father in the mission to help humans and mutants coexist. I’m intrigued to see how FX might connect Legion to the X-men universe.

Will you tune in to watch ‘Legion’ on FX?

Disney has just announced a few new details about their Mary Poppins sequel starring Emily Blunt and Lin-Manuel Miranda, and directed by Into the Woods helmer Rob Marshall.

The movie is officially titled Mary Poppins Returns and will hit theaters December 25, 2018. The date is the same one Disney used for their 2014 musical adaptation of Into the Woods. Mary Poppins Returns is being billed as a sequel to the 1964 original.

Here’s Disney’s official synopsis for Mary Poppins Returns:

Blunt has been cast as Mary Poppins and Miranda will play a new character, a street lamplighter named Jack. Drawing from the wealth of material in P.L. Travers’ seven additional novels, the story will take place in Depression-era London (when the books were originally written) and follows a now-grown Jane and Michael Banks, who, along with Michael’s three children, are visited by the enigmatic Mary Poppins following a personal loss. Through her unique magical skills, and with the aid of her friend Jack, she helps the family rediscover the joy and wonder missing in their lives.

Said Rob Marshall in a statement, “I am truly humbled and honored to be asked by Disney to bring P.L. Travers’ further adventures to the screen. The iconic original film means so much to me personally, and I look forward to creating an original movie musical that can bring Mary Poppins, and her message that childlike wonder can be found in even the most challenging of times, to a whole new generation.”

Mary Poppins Returns is the latest in a line of live-action sequels and remakes Disney has put into production. Others include next year’s Beauty and the Beast, which the studio just unveiled a trailer for. Last week we also heard that they’re working on a live-action Little Mermaid movie.

Are you okay with a Mary Poppins sequel?

The Harry Potter play Cursed Child opens in a week, and we’ve just got our first look at Ginny Potter née Weasley. But not everyone is impressed.

Harry Potter fans have long ago resigned themselves to the fact that Ginny Weasley, badass Quidditch superstar and Voldemort possession survivor, is doomed to exist on the fringes of the story.

Despite her undiluted badassery, Ginny floated on the edge of canon throughout the Harry Potter book series, and for this reason, there are unfortunately many fans who simply don’t see Ginny as anything other than Harry’s only heterosexual ticket into the OBHWF.

But while Hermione Granger (rightfully) takes up most of the spotlight as far as female representation is concerned, J.K. Rowling actually created an equally important female character in Ginny Weasley, despite — or maybe because — of her absence from Harry’s part of the story.

Related: 9 reasons why Ginny Weasley’s cooler than the movies give her credit for

Reading the book saga closely will reveal that Ginny Weasley was actually better than everyone (and she knew it). And the fact that she got to be such a quietly confident BAMF, without Harry ever being consciously aware of it (though clearly it made an impression!), definitely meant a lot to me as a young girl growing up Potter.

Ginny may not have been the Chosen One, or the Chosen One’s best friend, but she kicked ass — and continued to kick ass — whether or not anyone gave her credit for it.

Let’s recap the awesomeness of Ginny Weasley:

  • Ron may have been Harry’s best friend, but his little sister was the seventh Weasley child and the first girl in seven generations. Talk about your magic number!
  • By all accounts, she was an immensely powerful witch: Growing up with six brothers made her resilient and hard-working, and she seemed to have the same extraordinary raw talent as Fred and George (but she applied herself more).
  • She was possessed by Voldemort in her first year at Hogwarts, literally making her the only person even remotely qualified to understand what Harry was going through. This came to a head in Order of the Phoenix, when it was Ginny of all people who stood up to Harry and told him that he was being stupid.
  • She overcame her crush on Harry and went on to have a rich and interesting social life which didn’t involve him. When Harry finally noticed and fell in love with her, she didn’t let that slow her down.
  • She stood up for both Neville and Luna, clearly cool and self-confident enough not to care what anyone thought of her companions (unlike Harry, who was far more judgemental towards both Luna and Neville).
  • She was a professional Quidditch player, even taking Harry’s place as Seeker for a while before landing a spot as Chaser while still at Hogwarts.

For all this, Ginny never really amounted to the ‘fourth member of the trio’ fans might have hoped for ahead of Deathly Hallows. She didn’t join Harry, Ron and Hermione on the Horcrux hunt (solely because Harry wanted to ‘protect’ her), and yet her badassery continued to assert itself behind the scenes, as she joined Dumbledore’s Army at Hogwarts and fought in the ensuing battle.

To me, it always felt like the essence of Ginny, the soul of this character, simply would not be repressed no matter how much J.K. Rowling tried to bench her (and the benching in itself was not an issue; Ginny was never meant to be a main character, and as laid out above, it actually worked to her benefit).

Ginny Harry 2

But unfortunately, the Harry Potter movies have done a lot to undo the subtle ways in which Rowling empowered Ginny between the lines. With Ginny’s value in the story mostly inferred rather than expressly stated, it clearly became as easy of a subplot to trim away as Nearly Headless Nick’s deathday party.

Ginny had hardly any presence in the movies at all, peaking in Chamber of Secrets (because they couldn’t completely ignore her in that one) and otherwise having only a few scattered, out-of-context moments of empowerment that still paled in comparison to the material given to characters like Fred and George, Draco, Luna, and Neville. Heck, even made-up character Nigel had more of a presence in the movies than Ginny did.

And of course it didn’t help that Bonnie Wright (who is a talented actress — check out After the Dark and see for yourself) had no chemistry with Dan Radcliffe, and that they gave the best Harry/Ginny moment of the series to Ron/Lavender for some inexplicable reason.

But still she married Harry, and still they had three kids (all of whom were named after people important to Harry, but alright). The One Big Happy Weasley Family prophecy came true, and all was well…

Until now. (Dun dun dunnn.)

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child opens for previews in London next week, and everyone’s excited for the trio and their kids to return. Once again Ginny is getting second billing, not being announced as part of the main cast, but rather revealed a week before the show opens, along with a photograph of Poppy Miller in character:

ginny_potter_poppy_miller

There’s also a family portrait of Ginny, Harry and their son Albus, with Ginny holding on to her youngest son protectively (there’s that mother’s love again), kicking us in the feels because it’s pretty much exactly what Harry saw when he looked into the Mirror of Erised:

l-r Harry Potter (Jamie Parker), Albus Potter (Sam Clemmett), Ginny Potter (Poppy Miller)

And I actually love this. I love that Ginny is included (especially since, um, Harry’s other two kids are nowhere to be seen), front and center by Harry’s side.

As far as her clothes go, no, I’m not a fan. They remind me too much of movie-Ginny’s getup in the epilogue, and it’s just not what I’d imagine she’d wear. But it’s just an outfit; it doesn’t actually tell us anything about Ginny’s role in the play, so I’m not too worried about that.

What I am worried about is the fact that she’d be revealed here as part of Harry’s Erised fantasy. It’s doubtless we’ll see more character reveals over the coming days, and Harry will likely factor into more constellations (notably the Ron-Hermione-Harry group photo we’re all waiting for). Ginny probably won’t.

I’m worried that Ginny’s role in this story will amount to being Harry’s wife and Albus’ mom. Not that J.K. Rowling hasn’t full well established that The Power of Motherhood pretty much overrules everything else, but that’s not what Ginny is — or, rather, that’s not all she is. As much as I love Molly Weasley, Ginny represented a different kind of female character. I hope the play stays true to that.

ginny

As a long-time Ginny fan used to everyone overlooking and under-utilizing this fantastic character, I’m just desperately hoping now that the eighth Harry Potter story will give us the Ginny we know from the books, rather than her inferior on-screen counterpart. While Cursed Child isn’t and shouldn’t be about her, I’m hoping this is Ginny’s chance to reclaim some of the agency the movies robbed her of.

And call me an optimist, but I’m hopeful that this is exactly what Cursed Child is gonna give us. I trust that J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany don’t let the movies’ depiction of Ginny influence what is supposed to be the next installment of the book series.

In J.K. Rowling’s own words on Pottermore, Poppy Miller’s Ginny will be, “Kind and cool, exactly as I imagined her.” It’s not the bat-bogey hexing firecracker we know and love, but hey, everyone grows up, right? So even if we get just a couple of scenes with Ginny, let’s presume she’ll be her badass, Quidditch player self, and that she’ll be given space to exist in her own right, rather than as a prop in Harry’s perfect family.

She may not have been the most important character in Harry Potter, but she was my favorite, and Cursed Child has an opportunity to undo the damage the movies did to this fantastic, empowering heroine. Let’s hope they take it.

Are you looking forward to seeing Ginny Potter in ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’?