Wed, 07 Jun 2023

Washington [US], June 29 (ANI): Baz Luhrmann's 'Australia' is set to be reimagined as a six-part limited series titled 'Faraway Downs,' scheduled to be released exclusively as a Hulu Original in the United States and a Star Original on Disney and Star in International markets.

Starring Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman, the 2008 epic love letter to his native country was a box office dud when it hit theatres over a decade ago and critics were mostly unimpressed on the whole thing. But its reputation has grown over the years, helped by frequent showings on cable, streaming and the like, and it sounds as though the director wasn't done tinkering with a movie that, charitably, was a whole lot better than people gave it credit for at the time, as per Variety.

Slated for release this winter, the six-episode Director's Cut will consist of footage recorded for the film while also offering an expanded and serialized version of the story. Luhrmann and company also promise a new ending and an updated soundtrack.

"I originally set out to take the notion of the sweeping 'Gone With the Wind' style epic and turn it on its head. A way of using romance and epic drama to shine a light on the roles of First Nations people and the painful scar in Australian history of the 'Stolen Generations,'" Luhrmann, fresh off his box office hit 'Elvis,' explained.

Luhrmann added that "while 'Australia' the film has its own life, there was another telling of this story." It includes "alternative plot twists that an episodic format has allowed us to explore.""Baz is one of the world's great auteur storytellers, so revisiting 'Faraway Downs' and experiencing his incredible film Australia in this unique, new episodic format has been a revelatory and unique adventure. We look forward to taking viewers into the ranch and to experiencing all of the stories that are both held within and continue to unfold there," added Craig Erwich, president of Hulu Originals and ABC Entertainment.

For those who may have skipped the feature film, the story revolves around English aristocrat Lady Sarah Ashley (Kidman) who, after the death of her husband, inherits Faraway Downs, a large cattle ranch in Australia. When Australian cattle barons plot to take over her lands, she reluctantly teams up with a rough-hewn cattle drover (Hugh Jackman) to protect her ranch.

The story also involves young Nullah (Brandon Walters), a bi-racial Indigenous Australian boy who had gotten embroiled in the government's draconian racial policies now known as the 'Stolen Generations.' All of it is set against the backdrop of World War II for the ultimate swoon-worthy epic.

'Faraway Downs' will be executive produced by Luhrmann, Catherine Martin, Schuyler Weiss, and Catherine Knapman. 20th Television is the studio behind the feature, as per Variety.

"Drawn from the same material, 'Faraway Downs' is a new variation on 'Australia' for audiences to discover," Luhrmann assured. (ANI)

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