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Jay-Z named executive producer for 'The Great Gatsby'

UPI News Service, 03/15/2013 

Rapper Shawn "Jay-Z" Carter has been named an executive producer on the upcoming New York-set film, "The Great Gatsby," Warner Bros. said.

Carter is credited with helping "to bring the modern Jazz Age energy of F. Scott Fitzgerald's original text to the big screen, procuring, performing, producing and arranging for a soundtrack featuring some of the world's top musical artists," the studio said in a news release.

The collaboration with Carter is "a credible and natural fit," Director Baz Luhrmann said.

"Fitzgerald was a pioneer, famed and controversial for using the then-new and explosive sound called jazz in his novels and short stories -- not just as decoration, but to actively tell story using the immediacy of pop culture," Luhrmann said.

"He coined the phrase 'the Jazz Age.' So, the question for me in approaching Gatsby was how to elicit from our audience the same level of excitement and pop-cultural immediacy toward the world that Fitzgerald did for his audience. And in our age, the energy of jazz is caught in the energy of hip-hop," the director said.

"Not only is Jay-Z a great artist, full stop, but I had heard that he was a great collaborator. [Leonardo DiCaprio] and I were lucky enough to be present in a recording session over two years ago as Jay-Z was recording 'No Church in the Wild,' and the collaboration grew from there."

Carter said: "As soon as I spoke with Baz and Leonardo, I knew this was the right project. The Great Gatsby' is that classic American story of one's introduction to extravagance, decadence and illusion. It's ripe for experimentation and ready to be interpreted with a modern twist."

The film is to open in U.S. theaters May 10.

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