Baz Luhrmann Re-Editing 2008’s Australia Into New Limited Series

Australia (2008)

by James White |
Published on

Baz Luhrmann might be riding high at the box office thanks to his latest, Elvis, but back in 2008 he didn't fare so well as Australia was greeted with critical negatives and audience shrugs. So now he's going the Snyder Cut route, re-working the epic drama into a limited series called Faraway Downs.

Effectively a six-episode director's cut of the movie, it sees Luhrmann rescuing cut footage, breaking up the story into chunks, changing the ending and updating the soundtrack.

In case you skipped the original release, the story centers on English aristocrat Lady Sarah Ashley (Nicole Kidman) who inherits Faraway Downs, a large cattle ranch in Australia following the death of her husband. When Australian cattle barons plot to take her land, she reluctantly joins forces 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 child caught up in the government’s draconian racial policy now referred to as the "Stolen Generations."

"I originally set out to take the notion of the sweeping Gone With The Wind-style epic and turn it on its head," Luhrmann explains. "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.' While Australia the film has its own life, there was another telling of this story.

The new version will premiere later this year on Hulu in the States and via Disney+ in the UK.

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