Baz Luhrmann to Turn His 2008 Nicole Kidman Movie 'Australia' into 6-Part Director's Cut on Hulu

The director said the new limited series version, titled Faraway Downs, will have "different layers, nuances and even alternative plot twists"

OUTBACK, AUSTRALIA - UNDATED: This handout photo provided by Fox Studios on June 19, 2008, shows actors Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman in a scene from the forthcoming movie "Australia" in the Australian Outback, Australia. "Australia" is scheduled for worldwide release in November and Tourism Australia have announced a global marketing campaign to accompany the movie, which they expect will encourage visitors to visit the country. (Photo by Fox Studios/Getty Images)

Baz Luhrmann is expanding upon his 2008 film Australia.

The director — whose Elvis movie debuted No. 1 at the domestic box office over the weekend — announced Tuesday that he will release a six-episode director's cut version of the 14-year-old romantic epic, which starred Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman. Titled Faraway Downs, the limited series will stream on Hulu this winter, according to The Hollywood Reporter and Variety.

Luhrmann said in a statement, "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.' While Australia the film has its own life, there was another telling of this story; one with different layers, nuances and even alternative plot twists that an episodic format has allowed us to explore."

"Drawn from the same material, Faraway Downs is a new variation on Australia for audiences to discover," he added.

Hulu Originals and ABC Entertainment president Craig Erwich added, "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 experiencing all of the stories that are both held within and continue to unfold there."

Australia is 2 hours and 45 minutes long and earned an Oscar nomination for its costume design.

TOKYO - FEBRUARY 26: Director Baz Luhrmann, actresses Ryoko Yonekura, Nicole Kidman and actor Hugh Jackman attend the "Australia" Japan Premiere at Toho Cinemas Nichigeki on February 26, 2009 in Tokyo, Japan. The film will open on February 28 in Japan. (Photo by Jun Sato/WireImage)
Jun Sato/WireImage

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Kidman became pregnant with her daughter Sunday, who turns 14 next month, while making the movie. She and Luhrmann — who also made 2001's Moulin Rouge! together — caught up to do an interview with each other for Vogue Australia last month, reflecting on their friendship and making Australia.

"I rewatched Australia with Sunday during COVID, which is so bizarre, right? The child that was birthed from that film, loves the film," said Kidman, 55. "And, I said, 'It's so of now!' So then when you were like, 'Oh, I'm thinking of doing this in a much longer version [Faraway Downs].' I was like, 'What a great idea!' Because I remember there were a lot of things we shot that you couldn't put into the film, there just wasn't the time. And it's so rich, that text, that story."

GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 04: Austin Butler, Olivia DeJonge, Baz Luhrmann and Tom Hanks attend the Australian premiere of ELVIS at Event Cinemas Pacific Fair on June 04, 2022 in Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)
From left: Austin Butler, Olivia DeJonge, Baz Luhrmann and Tom Hanks in June. Chris Hyde/Getty

Luhrmann teased the new version of Australia to CinemaBlend last year, saying at the time, "The issue was that it was compressed down. So I've done a six-chapter-long play on it for Hulu, in which I really expand it out. But there are no musical numbers by Hugh Jackman … and there's a big surprise coming, which I won't go into."

Luhrmann has also directed movies like 1996's Romeo + Juliet, 2013's The Great Gatsby and, most recently, Elvis — which he said there could be a 4-hour version of. He told the Radio Times earlier this month, "I mean, I have a four-hour version, actually. I do. But you have to bring it down to 2 hours 30. There's lots of stuff that I shot. Like the relationship with the band, I had to pare [that] down...."

"You know, the addiction to barbiturates and all of that, he starts doing wackadoo things — like going down to see Nixon," Luhrmann added. "I had it in there for a while but there just comes a point where you can't have everything in, so I just tried to track the spirit of the character."

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