Tobey Maguire, Leonardy DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan and Joel Edgerton in… (Warner Bros. Pictures )
Movies shot in 3-D typically showcase dramatic action — superheroes scaling tall buildings, warriors rushing into epic battle, even the destruction of Earth itself. It's not a format that has traditionally lent itself to, say, a man gallivanting with flappers in a 1920s period piece.
But that will change this year as two literary favorites get the 3-D treatment on the big screen. This December, director Baz Luhrmann will offer his take on F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby," the famous tale of Nick Carraway and his adventures with well-off Long Islanders in the roaring '20s. That same month, an Ang Lee-directed version of "Life of Pi" will hit theaters, an adaptation of Yann Martel's 2001 novel about an Indian boy lost at sea with a Bengal tiger.
Martin Scorsese was among the filmmakers to venture into new territory with a 3-D literary adaptation in 2011 with "Hugo," about an orphan living in a train station in 1930s Paris. While the aesthetic was appreciated by critics, audiences have yet to embrace it with similar enthusiasm.
Leonardo DiCaprio, who will star as Gatsby in the film alongside Tobey Maguire and Carey Mulligan, told The Times last year that the 3-D in Luhrmann's film will be used as a tool for dramatic purposes.
"'The Great Gatsby' is a voyeuristic novel where you feel like you're a fly on the wall with these incredibly intimate moments — all these people in a room," he said. "Baz comes from theater, and he knows what has more dramatic intensity as far as who is in front of the stage and who is in back. He's simultaneously able to put three different characters in focus. It is like watching theater."