Warner Bros. Pictures and Village Roadshow Pictures have delayed the release of Baz Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby to mid-2013.

A statement by Warner Bros' president of domestic distribution, Dan Fellman, and president of international distribution, Veronika Kwan Vandenberg, confirmed the move but did not delve into the reasons. The film was originally scheduled to be released on Christmas Day in the US and on January 13, 2013, in Australia.

The Los Angeles Times reported that the delay would give Luhrmann more time to finish the exacting 3D effects and construct a soundtrack featuring some of the biggest artists in the world. However, the new (US) summer release date means the film will no longer be eligible for the 2013 Academy Awards.

The trailer, released in May, received a positive response from audiences and Warner Bros' Fellman and Vandenberg were similarly upbeat about the film while announcing the delay. 

“Based on what we’ve seen, Baz Luhrmann’s incredible work is all we anticipated and so much more. It truly brings Fitzgerald’s American classic to life in a completely immersive, visually stunning and exciting way," Fellman said in a statement. "We think moviegoers of all ages are going to embrace it, and it makes sense to ensure this unique film reaches the largest audience possible.”

Vandenberg also said: “Baz is known for being innovative, but with this film he has done something completely unexpected – making it in 3D – while capturing the emotion, the intimacy, the power and the spectacle of the time. The responses we’ve had to some of the early sneak peeks have been phenomenal, and we think The Great Gatsby will be the perfect summer movie around the world.”

Luhrmann's adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel The Great Gatsby stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Carey Mulligan and was filmed in Australia. The film is understood to have received the 40 per cent Producer Offset rebate and substantial support from the NSW government.

Contact this reporter at [email protected] or on Twitter at @bcswift.

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