Here's What F. Scott Fitzgerald Made From 'Gatsby' Film Rights in 1926
A handwritten ledger documenting author F. Scott Fitzgerald's film payments from 1919 through 1938 has been released online—shortly before the modern "Great Gatsby" movie adaptation opens in theaters May 10.
According to Fitzgerald's records, he sold the "Gatsby" film rights to Hollywood in 1926 for $16,666.
According to an inflation calculator, today that amount would be equal to $219,174.85.
Baz Luhrmann's upcoming "Gatsby" has a production budget estimated at $127 million alone, while the 1974 film starring Robert Redford and Mia Farrow has grossed $20,563,273 since its release.
Fitzgerald's Ledger documenting his film payments is part of the F Scott Fitzgerald collection in the Ernest F. Hollings Special Collections Library at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, S.C.
The ledger was meticulously divided into five sections: "Record of Published Fiction," "Money Earned by Writing since Leaving Army," "Published Miscelani (including movies) for which I was Paid," "Zelda's Earnings," and "Outline Chart of my Life."
Check out Fitzgerald's movie industry earnings, in chronological order, before commissions were taken:
•Head And Shoulders - $2,500.00
•Myra Meets His Family – $1,000.00
•The Off Shore Pirate – $2,250.00
•'Option on my output' – $3,000.
•The Beautiful And Damned – $2,500.00
•This Side Of Paradise – $10,000.00
•The Camel's Back – $1,000.00
•Grit – $2,000.00
•Titles for Glimpses Of The Moon – $500.00
•The Great Gatsby – $16,666.00
•'California work' on Lipstick - $3,500 00
•'Additional Payment' The Great Gatsby - $3,333.00
•'Treatment' Metro Goldwyn Mayer – $6,000
Elizabeth Sudduth, director of the Ernest F. Hollings Library and Rare Books Collection at the University of South Carolina, points at items in a ledger owned by author F. Scott Fitzgerald.
Sudduth says the Fitzgerald collection is now valued at more than $4 million.