F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Last Tycoon is one of the great unfinished novels of the 20th century, still incomplete when the Great Gatsby author died in 1940. For a while there, it was looking like a TV adaptation of Fitzgerald’s novel might meet a similar fate, with HBO passing on the show a couple of years ago, before Amazon picked it up as a potential entry in its nascent streaming empire. It’s been nearly two years since the online retail giant snarfled up Captain Phillips screenwriter Billy Ray’s pilot script and installed neatly pressed White Collar star Matt Bomer in the title role, but the show has finally been picked up to series today.
Starring Bomer, alongside Rosemarie DeWitt and Kelsey Grammer, the show will explore the flashy, fast-talking world of up-and-coming movie producer Monroe Stahr, as he makes deals, beds dames, and refuses to acknowledge the raging emptiness of his materialistic life. (That’s kind of Fitzgerald’s “thing.”) The novel—posthumously published and periodically re-edited over the years—was previously adapted for the screen in 1976, when Elia Kazan and Robert De Niro made a film version, to mixed reviews and the sort of box office receipts that would have left Fitzgerald’s fictitious film exec spinning in his unfinished grave.