According to Deadline, Kelsey Grammer has landed a starring role in Amazon Studios’ adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s unfinished novel, The Last Tycoon. Matt Bomer (White Collar) and Rosemarie DeWitt (Olive Kitteridge) will also star in the pilot, and Captain Phillips scribe Billy Ray will direct from his own script.
Although Fitzgerald never completed the book (originally titled The Love Of The Last Tycoon), an edited version was published in 1941. The Last Tycoon focuses on movie executive Monroe Stahr (Bomer), an approximation of real-life producer Irving Thalberg, who worked for Universal and MGM in the ’20s and ’30s. In the story, Stahr butts heads with his mentor and current head of a studio, the “imposing, charming, and vain” Pat Brady (Grammar), who is based on Louis B. Mayer. DeWitt plays Rose Brady, Pat’s wife, who may be involved with Stahr. She doesn’t seem to be based on anyone in real life, but any female character in this time period not kicking her legs to music while wearing a leotard and lying in a giant, spinning seashell is more fully formed than we’ve come to expect.
Book purists should be more forgiving of this show’s expansion on the source material since the original book is not a complete story, and they’ll probably be happy to learn that Pulitzer-winning author and F. Scott Fitzgerald scholar A. Scott Berg will serve as a consulting producer. Berg presumably campaigned for the job after suffering through the myriad “hip-hop” tracks awkwardly laid over Baz Lurhmann’s Great Gatsby adaptation. But there’ll be none of that nonsense in this Fitzgerald adaptation—instead, we’ll probably have some good old-fashioned slide whistles highlighting the metaphysical absurdity of these characters’ struggles.