Carey Mulligan and Leonardo DiCaprio in The Great Gatsby.

Carey Mulligan and Leonardo DiCaprio in The Great Gatsby.

Movie-goers will have to wait an extra six months to see Baz Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby.

The Hollywood studio Warner Bros has pushed back the release from Christmas Day in the United States - and January 10 in Australia - to the next American summer.

The original release date for the movie, which was shot in Sydney and the Blue Mountains with a cast headed by Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire and Carey Mulligan, allowed it to qualify for next year's Academy Awards.

The new date, described only by Warner Brothers as ''summer 2013'', now puts it in the thick of Hollywood's blockbuster season.

The studio's president of domestic distribution, Dan Fellman, said it made sense to ensure the 3D adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's famous novel was seen by the largest audience possible.

Warner Brothers' president of international distribution, Veronika Kwan Vandenberg, said: ''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.''

The move was considered a surprise in Hollywood given the buzz about DiCaprio being a leading contender for next year's best actor Oscar and the promising look of the movie's trailer.

The Hollywood star plays the gilded Jay Gatsby who yearns for Daisy Buchanan (Mulligan) in a romantic drama set in New York in the 1920s.

It is believed Warner Bros executives still see the movie as an Oscars contender, just a year later than expected.

The Hollywood Reporter commented: ''There's no way of knowing whether Warner's actually decided that the film's release would be better served by a summer release or whether it came to the conclusion that the film wouldn't be able to hold its own against this year's stiff awards competition.''

Variety noted Gatsby was among a flurry of films to shift recently into next year, including Warner Brothers' Man of Steel and Paramount's World War Z.

The later release opens up the prospect of The Great Gatsby having a lavish launch at the Cannes Film Festival in May.