Did 'This Side of Paradise' Become A Movie? F. Scott Fitzgerald's First Novel Is An Anomaly
Over the last century, much of F. Scott Fitzgerald's work (and life) has been reimagined on screen. But on Friday, Jan. 27, Amazon will flip the spotlight toward Zelda, his wife, in Z: The Beginning of Everything, a period drama that traces their tempestuous romance from her point of view. It picks up just before Fitzgerald published his debut novel This Side of Paradise, which launched the couple to the upper echelon of '20s literary circles. As the early episodes show, there was talk of a This Side of Paradise movie, at one point starring the Fitzgeralds themselves, but once Scott opts not to star in it, it's unclear what happens from there.
Z: The Beginning of Everything Season 1 only covers the couple's life until about 1921, but even since then, This Side of Paradise hasn't become a movie — though the Fitzgeralds really did consider starring in an adaptation, according to The New York Times. In fact, it's the only Fitzgerald book that hasn't received an in-theater counterpart. It's unclear why, as there's plenty of story to work with. The book follows a young man named Amory Blaine as he grapples with love and war, exploring themes of wealth and status-seeking. Like much of Fitzgerald's writing, it's semi autobiographical: both he and the protagonist are from the Midwest, attended Princeton, and had failed relationships with debutantes. But while This Side of Paradise has yet to get a Hollywood makeover, plenty of Fitzgerald's stories did.
The Beautiful and Damned
A devastating look at the New York elite, The Beautiful and Damned was the first of Fitzgerald's works to be adapted for film. It was released as a silent movie in 1922, starring Marie Prevost and Kenneth Harlan as central couple Gloria and Anthony. Last year, The Hollywood Reporter reported that a remake was in development with Scarlett Johansson attached to star.
Tender Is the Night
Tender Is the Night was Fitzgerald's fourth and final novel before his death in 1940. It recounted young actress Rosemary Hoyt's tragic love affair with glamorous American couple Dick and Nicole Diver. It's been translated to a number of mediums over the years, including a 1962 movie (as seen in the trailer above) and a 1985 television miniseries.
The Love of The Last Tycoon
The Love of the Last Tycoon was published posthumously in 1941. It was reintroduced as simply The Last Tycoon in Elia Kazan's 1976 film, which starred Robert De Niro, Jack Nicholson, and Jeanne Moreau, among others.
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Fitzgerald's 1922 short story was the basis for David Fincher's 2008 feature, which was nominated for a staggering 13 Oscars, winning three. Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett, Taraji P. Henson, and Tilda Swinton were among its stars.
The Great Gatsby
Largely considered Fitzgerald's magnum opus, The Great Gatsby has been adapted numerous times across the last few decades, including a 1974 flick written by Francis Ford Coppola; a 2000 movie starring Mira Sorvino, Toby Stephens, and Paul Rudd; and Baz Luhrmann's Leonardo DiCaprio-led 2013 feature.
If you whip through Z: The Beginning of Everything too quickly now that it's streaming on Amazon, you can soothe your post-marathon woes with some of these Fitzgerald classics.