Baz Luhrmann’s epic Australia to be expanded into a six-episode limited series called Faraway Downs

Filmmaker Baz Luhrmann has announced his next project will be a six-hour ‘reimagining’ of his big-budget epic Australia.

The period romance, starring Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman, was originally released in 2008 and cost a reported US$130million to make.

It will be re-cut as a six-episode limited series called Faraway Downs, reports Variety.

Filmmaker Baz Luhrmann has announced his next project will be a six-hour ‘reimagining’ of his big-budget epic Australia. The period romance, starring Nicole Kidman (right) and Hugh Jackman (left), was originally released in 2008 and cost a reported US$130million to make

The project should be completed by the end of 2022 and will stream on Hulu and as a Star Original on Disney+.

Australia, billed as an ‘Aussie Gone with the Wind’, received poor reviews upon its cinematic release and failed to make a profit despite grossing more than US$211.3million worldwide.

Storyline details for Faraway Downs are unavailable, but it’s understood the series will use footage shot for the original film, which ran almost three hours.

It will also feature a new ending and updated soundtrack.

‘Drawn from the same material, Faraway Downs is a new variation on Australia for audiences to discover,’ Luhrmann, 59, explained.

It will be re-cut as a six-episode limited series called Faraway Downs, reports Variety. (Pictured: Baz Luhrmann in Cap d'Antibes, France, on May 26, 2022)

It will be re-cut as a six-episode limited series called Faraway Downs, reports Variety. (Pictured: Baz Luhrmann in Cap d’Antibes, France, on May 26, 2022)

The director also indicated the new version of Australia will highlight Indigenous themes and offer ‘alternative plot twists’.

‘I originally set out to take the notion of the sweeping Gone with the Wind-style epic and turn it on its head,’ he said.

Luhrmann explained the original film was ‘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.’

Storyline details for Faraway Downs are unavailable, but it's understood the series will use footage shot for the original film, which ran almost three hours. (Pictured: Kidman and Brandon Walters in a scene from Australia)

Storyline details for Faraway Downs are unavailable, but it’s understood the series will use footage shot for the original film, which ran almost three hours. (Pictured: Kidman and Brandon Walters in a scene from Australia)

Set in the early years of World War II, Australia centred on an unlikely romance between an Aussie cattleman (Jackman) and English aristocrat Lady Sarah (Kidman).

Faraway Downs is the outback cattle station Lady Sarah inherits when her husband dies. It later comes under threat from sinister competitors. 

There is also a major storyline devoted to Lady Sarah’s attachment to a young Aboriginal boy called Nullah (Brandon Walters).

The story climaxes with the bombing of Darwin by Japanese Imperial Forces, which occurred on February 19, 1942.

Australia, billed as an 'Aussie Gone with the Wind', received poor reviews upon its cinematic release and failed to turn a profit despite grossing more than US$211.3million worldwide

Australia, billed as an ‘Aussie Gone with the Wind’, received poor reviews upon its cinematic release and failed to turn a profit despite grossing more than US$211.3million worldwide

The story climaxes with the bombing of Darwin by Japanese Imperial Forces, which occurred on February 19, 1942

The story climaxes with the bombing of Darwin by Japanese Imperial Forces, which occurred on February 19, 1942 

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