Baz Luhrmann Recut ‘Australia’ Into a 6-Part TV Series
Baz Luhrmann’s Australia debuted in 2008 with an incredible cast, headlined by Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman, an epic story, and a subject close to Luhrmann’s heart. But the film didn’t quite connect with audiences in the ways that Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge! seemed to, and it only got so-so reviews and grossed a little over $200 million against a massive $130 million budget.
But now, 15 years later, Luhrmann is getting an unusual chance to retell his story, as Luhrmann has recut the movie Australia into a TV miniseries, which is now called Faraway Downs. This longer version, featuring material that wasn’t in the original film will premiere later this fall on Hulu.
Here is the trailer for the series, which certainly looks like Australia (as it should)...
In a new interview, Luhrmann said he had the idea to recut Australia during the pandemic. “I got the idea ... and realized I’ve shot enough to do it as episodic storytelling through a revisiting of the piece, not necessarily as a better film than Australia, but a different variation on the themes.”
Although it’s certainly not typical, Luhrmann isn’t the first director to recut his film as a TV series. A few years ago, Quentin Tarantino released his feature The Hateful Eight on Netflix as a four-part miniseries. The experience may not have improved on the original film, but it was certainly an interesting experiment.
Here is Faraway Downs’ official synopsis:
The story centers on an English aristocrat, Lady Sarah Ashley (Nicole Kidman) who travels halfway across the world to confront her wayward husband and sell an unusual asset: a million-acre cattle ranch in the Australian Outback called ‘Faraway Downs’. Following the death of her husband, a ruthless Australian cattle baron, King Carney (Bryan Brown), plots to take her land and she reluctantly joins forces with a rough-hewn cattle drover (Hugh Jackman) to protect her ranch. The sweeping adventure romance is explored through the eyes of 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.” Together the trio experiences four life-altering years, a love affair between Lady Ashley and the Drover, and the unavoidable impact of World War II on Northern Australia.
Faraway Downs will premiere on Hulu on November 26.