Overtime, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby made a really big name for itself and the background of the book went from garbage when it came out to literature legend nowadays. While it’s a novel that most thought to be boring or uninteresting with its deeper meanings and sad ending, it’s a novel that will be remembered by many, especially high school juniors, for years to come. However, the novel has officially turned into the age where it’s now in the realm of being under public domain.
What does that mean? Well, it varies from work to work and has lots of specifics because most works fall under copyright laws. Under public domain though, this means that anyone could just as easily copy the text down word for word and sell it for their own personal profit with no lawyers or anything. Or, you could be a little cooler than that and rewrite the book word for word except change details to fit it how you thought the book should’ve gone, that’s basically a fanfiction. The biggest detail of this book turning into a public domain book is that whether or not you copy this book word for word, you can SELL IT with no repercussions and no lawyers coming for you at all.
This leads to lots of possibilities now, and some people will really take advantage of these laws for good, but there will obviously be others who use these laws for bad. That’s not what this is about though, as there are some really cool and unique ideas that can now actually happen. Here are a few ideas of what the public could see in a theater, a staged performance, or even see being sold on Amazon for money:
–The Great “Batsby”: Being a movie or even a graphic novel, this film could feature Jay Gatsby trying to live his double life as millionaire playboy with parties every night and protecting the city as Batman. He’d suddenly encounter one night, a side kick named Nick and he would decide to now dress up as Robin. Together, the two fight to clean up the speakeasies of the city and encounter Tom and Daisy… Batsby would have to face the conflict of giving up his life as a vigilante to try and get Daisy back.
–The Great Muppets Gatsby: Even though the muppets are mainly for kids and The Great Gatsby is a teen/adult novel, the writers of the Muppets could probably adapt it pretty well. While it’s kind of hard to place who would play who, it’s pretty safe to assume that Kermit would most likely be Gatsby with Miss Piggy as Daisy. Not only would this be a great way to teach younger kids about a classic story, but it would most likely be incredibly funny and satirical for many. The best part of this idea in particular is that on January 19, 2021, this exact idea got a script made by fans and it’s quickly coming to light.
–The Gay Gatsby: A common theory among academics and fans of this novel is that Nick is secretly gay or bisexual as indicated by the ways he describes certain males to look and his manurisms around them. Also, anything can really be done with the power of the internet, so you can bet on there already being tons of LGBTQ+ rewrites of the book, but now these authors can sell those works if they really wanted to.
–Gatsby on Ice: If there’s anything that English teachers struggle with, it’s how to make a classic book fun to read and understand. So there could come a time when The Great Gatsby gets adapted to be on ice. That would certainly make the parties of Gatsby a lot more rowdy and fast paced, but also there could be a lot of cool practical effects done. For example, the green light would probably look a lot cooler shining and reflecting on an ice sculpture. Also, movements would be a lot more dramatic to really bring out some pizazz in Gatsby that it really could use.
–Dr. Seuss’s “The Gats in the Hat”: Here would probably be another really interesting way to summarize the book for children while also having a really unique art style. Maybe it doesn’t even summarize the story, it could just be a different take on the story while still using themes and unique characters from the novel. Perhaps the best element that this book would have to offer is the art though. There are tons of beautiful drawings by Dr. Seuss, and The Great Gatsby’s themes and time period would look beautiful in Seuss’s art style.
–Gats to the Future!: What if Gatsby actually had the chance to change his past with Daisy? This movie would certainly answer that question. If done under a great writer and amazing acting, Gatsby going back to the past to ensure that he ends up with Daisy would be a fantastic film. We’d get to see that alternate timeline from a different angle and if the theme, “the past is best left unchanged” is brought in along with some comedy, this would really be using the public domain to its fullest potential.