Casting F. Scott Fitzgerald in Stewart O’Nan’s West of Sunset

Arguably the greatest American writer of the twentieth century – perhaps in history – F. Scott Fitzgerald was as complex, compelling, and ultimately tragic as any character in his legendary body of work. Stewart O’Nan’s latest novel, West of Sunset, is a nuanced, witty, and moving chronicle of the troubled author’s final years living amid the decadence of Hollywood during the golden age of cinema.

In 1937, F. Scott Fitzgerald was well beyond his years of greatest success. In financial and emotional freefall, the alcoholic Fitzgerald made his way to Hollywood to fulfill a screenwriting contract with Metro Goldwyn Mayer. Despite his sometimes crippling doubts about the state of his creative abilities and the ongoing turmoil in his relationship with his wife, Zelda, Fitzgerald remained of captivating charm even if it was little more than a facade. Given the timeless nature of Fitzgerald’s body of work, the stranger-than-fiction nature of his final years, and his literary stature, West of Sunset is a semi-fictionalized biography ripe for adaptation. Let’s take a look at some possible casting choices, shall we?

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