Posted on Tuesday, November 11th, 2008 by Peter Sciretta
The Guardian is reporting that director Baz Luhrmann agreed, after “intense discussions”, to rewrite the final scenes of the Nicole Kidman/Hugh Jackman romantic adventure epic Australia. Apparently studio executives wanted the film to end on a more positive note (We’re not going to discuss the spoiler in question here). Apparently negative feedback from early test screenings prompted the studio’s concerns over the film finale.
I’m told that Luhrmann has final cut on this film, and that Fox could not have forced Luhrmann to change the ending even if they wanted to. That said, there is a lot of other stuff a studio can threaten to do that could have forced Luhrmann’s hand (not to say Fox did such things…).
It’s impossible to make an opinion based on pure hearsay, and I doubt we’ll ever get the real story behind the changes. Some will blame Fox for stepping in and “ruining Baz’s artistic vision” while others may agree that Baz made the right choice in agreeing to the changes. Either way, I’m sure the alternative ending will be available on DVD.