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Baz Luhrmann expands Australia into TV series using unseen footage | Entertainment

Baz Luhrmann has expanded ‘Australia’ into a six-part TV series TV series using footage rescued from the cutting room floor.

The director’s World War 2 romance starred Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman was released in 2008, and now Baz has brought the film back to life 15 years later by turning it into a TV series called ‘Faraway Downs’ which has been expanded from the film’s original 165 minute run-time.

Luhrmann said of the project: “I was inspired to re-approach my film ‘Australia’ to create ‘Faraway Downs’ because of the way episodic storytelling has been reinvigorated by the streaming world.

“With over 2m feet of film from the original piece, my team and I were able to revisit anew the central themes of the work.”

He will debut ‘Faraway Downs’ at the inaugural SXSW Sydney Screen festival later this month and the director says he’s honoured to be able to showcase the project Down Under.

Luhrmann added: “I am honoured to world premiere ‘Faraway Downs’ in Australia, the place that has inspired me and my work my entire life, and with a partner like SXSW who deeply recognises the intersection of film, television and music with storytelling.”

The TV series will air on Hulu in the US and on the Disney Plus streaming service from November 26.

In the film, Nicole plays a British aristocrat who heads to Australia to sell her Faraway Downs cattle farm, and Hugh plays a livestock drover hired to escort her to the ranch.

However, Nicole has previously insisted she struggled to sit through the film and can’t “feel proud” of her performance in it.

Speaking on Australian radio in 2009, she explained: “I can’t look at this movie and be proud of what I’ve done. I sat there and I looked at [husband] Keith [Urban] and went: ‘Am I any good in this movie?’ But I thought Brandon Walters [who plays Nullah] and Hugh Jackman were wonderful. It’s just impossible for me to connect to it emotionally at all.”

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