Baz Luhrmann's Australia Movie Is Becoming A Limited Series On Hulu

In 2008, Baz Luhrmann co-wrote and directed the film "Australia" starring Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman. Set between 1939 and 1942, it's the story of Lady Sarah Ashley (Kidman) whose husband owns a cattle ranch named Faraway Downs in Australia. She travels there from England to get him to sell the failing ranch, but gets caught up in a plot to take the ranch and the murder of her husband, before falling in love with a drover (Jackman), and creating a family with him, all while having their lives changed forever by World War II. 

Now that film's story will become a limited series called "Faraway Downs," according to The Hollywood Reporter. "Australia" will be redone and expanded by Luhrmann, whose current biopic "Elvis" is in theaters now. This will be a six-part series that will run on Hulu in the U.S., and Disney+ and Star+ overseas this winter. What's interesting here is that this isn't going to be reshot. This will be done with footage that was shot for the original film, with "a new ending and updated soundtrack." The outlet mentions that when the film first came out, Luhrmann had said that he filmed three different endings for the project. 

Done with footage from the original film

I suppose it's not exactly George Lucas redoing his "Star Wars" trilogy, taking away copies of the originally released films. It's an update and expansion of an existing film. It seems like an odd choice, but we still have the original to look at if this one doesn't suit. In a statement, Luhrmann said:

"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."

It's certainly an interesting idea. If you're not familiar with the "Stolen Generations," it was the Australian government's racial policy, taking children who had both Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ancestry away from their families. This policy lasted officially from 1905 until 1967, though it continued into the next decade in some places. In the film, we see this as Nullah (Brandon Walters), who has ancestors from both sides, is taken to an island, though he had been living with Lady Sarah and the Drover. 

Producing "Faraway Downs is Disney's 20th Television. Luhrmann will executive produce with Catherine Martin, Schuyler Weiss, and Catherine Knapman. 

"Elvis" is currently in theaters.