Soundtracking the trailer to his upcoming The Great Gatsby remake with Watch the Throne‘s “No Church in the Wild” was a stroke of genius, but no one would’ve guessed that director Baz Luhrmann also pulled Jay-Z to score the entire film.
On second thought, while new for Jay, it’s not that surprising for Luhrmann–whose Moulin Rouge (despite being set on the early 1900s Bohemian backdrop of Paris) had a soundtrack filled with modern day musical adaptations. Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor serenaded each other with Elton John’s “Your Song,” while the famed Moulin Rouge can-can dancers bounced along to Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit”. Before that, Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet (which, if you recall, also starred Gatsby‘s Leonardo DiCaprio) featured a much-adored two-part soundtrack with the likes of Garbage, The Cardigans and Everclear.
The Great Gatsby‘s dissection of opulence and corruption goes hand-in-hand with many of Jay’s most compelling narratives, so the pairing is bound to be a natural fit. In fact, Luhrmann was weaving his music into the minds of his cast from the start: Actress Isla Fisher mentioned to MTV.com that Luhrmann used Jay’s music as on-set motivation:
“On my first day he had Jay-Z pumped up full, and we did the entire scene with, you know, Jay-Z in our ear on full blast while acting, and it was just so liberating.”