Australia movie unfinished, Hugh Jackman not first choice (spoilers)

Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman are starring in a huge epic movie titled Australia, which from what I can guess the whole world is waiting desperately for, except Australians who are sort of rolling their eyes at another movie about us all running around in the bush with cattle and horses. Because we do that all the time. There are no cities here, and we go to work in a kangaroo, okay?

The movie is set for release in 15 days, and director Baz Lurham has just changed the unpopular ending, and is still desperately trying to finish the film.

Warning: Spoilers!

Hugh Jackman is a hard man to kill. Just ask director Baz Luhrmann, who has buckled in the face of negative test screenings and reshot the final scenes of his epic movie Australia to resurrect his leading man.

The talks between Luhrmann and the various suits at 20th Century Fox, which has wagered $US130 million ($190 million) on the most expensive Australian film of all time, were described as “intense”. You can see why. With just 15 days to go before the film’s release, no one has seen a finished print. Luhrmann is believed to be living in a caravan at a post-production facility and handing in his homework reel by reel.

Only time will tell if the result is Gone With The Wind on steroids or Out Of Africa lite.

Sydney Morning Herald

The Sydney Morning Herald points out that Baz has a stellar history of killing off his lead characters (Romeo and Juliet, anyone?) but can you really kill off your handsome dashing hero. It’s an epic, while someone should die a hero’s death, your romantic lead needs to live on handsomely. And when he’s played by Hugh Jackman, sans shirt.

The good news is the new ending gives us another thing to watch on the DVD extras.

Oddly, Hugh Jackman wasn’t first choice for the star.

And then there’s Jackman himself. He wasn’t Luhrmann’s first choice for the role of the “rough-hewn” drover. That was Russell Crowe, aka The Gladiator. A man who makes an agonising last act death look good. But Crowe wanted too much money, so Luhrmann got Jackman, a man so pleasant he can sport flesh-ripping talons and still look adorable. A man who will never be mistaken for Chuck Norris after playing Peter Allen in a musical and hosting the Tony Awards not once but three times.

But if Luhrmann was disappointed to get the Tenterfield Saddler instead of Maximus, he hid it well. “There are not many actors who have an ability to pick up a Nicole Kidman, throw her on the bed and ravish her with believability,” he has said in one of the interminable interviews spruiking the film. Then, in case anyone still entertained doubts about Jackman’s virility: “He is also excellent with a cattle whip.”

Sydney Morning Herald

Urgh, so glad that beef features isn’t playing the stockman in this film.

Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman were on Oprah promoting their film yesterday, where Nicole displayed baby photos and talked about having nine (nine!) women at her birth. Nicole adds that her son Connor joined her at the film shoot, which I’ve never heard any press coverage of, which sort of shows that she has more to do with her adopted children than we might think.

Australia is set for release on November 26th, and cost $AUD750,000 a minute to make.

Hugh Jackman is shown with Catherine Zeta Jones at a benefit the Motion Picture & Television Fund at Sony Pictures in Culver City, CA on 11/8/08. Credit: Bauergriffin. Nicole Kidman is shown with husband Keith Urban at the Glamour Woman of the Year Awards held at Carnegie Hall in New York on 11/10/08. Credit: WENN

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26 Responses to “Australia movie unfinished, Hugh Jackman not first choice (spoilers)”

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  1. Sara says:

    The Sydney Morning Herald points out that Baz has a stellar history of killing off his lead characters (Romeo and Juliet, anyone?)

    Giving Romeo and Juliet as an example is not the greatest way to try and get your point across since, well, Baz didn’t really write the original, did he? LOL.

    But I concur. Moulin Rouge, anyone?

  2. Alexis says:

    Strictly Ballroom is one of my all time favorites!

    Nicole Kidman looks AMAZING! Less (none?) botox is working for her. She looks like a real human woman. But, what is up with her hair?

  3. nag says:

    I hope she is listening to her fans and using less/no botox. She would then be a real trailblazer in the industry, not conforming and looking like everyone else.

    She looks great with the flick of grey/silver/blonde.

  4. Granger says:

    Love your opening paragraph! Being Canadian, I can relate to hilarious stereotypes (and I suppose all nations can). Still, I’m looking forward to this film. I love Hugh, Nicole is a wonderful actress (although — dare I say it? — I find her a little too “breathy” at times), and when it comes to settings, you can’t get much more beautiful than Australia.

  5. xiaoecho says:

    OMG that dress is breathtaking – she seems to have filled out a bit and it suits her. Damn her forehead is high

  6. embertine says:

    You meant on a kangaroo, right? :D

  7. aaaaaaaaaaaaaaa says:

    I agree – Kidman looks great in those pics! I really want to see this movie actually. I think it looks good. And I was one of the few who really liked Moulin Rouge. The problem is getting someone to go with me because my husband would rather gouge his eyeballs out!

  8. b&b says:

    Gads Helen, get a grip! :roll: There are rather a LOT of us out here who would have preferred someone with REAL acting chops for the part. And when Russell Crowe shapes up every couple of years, he is positively yummy. He can act the poseur Jackman under the table. And as to sexy? Surely you know about Jackman’s marriage to that mannish older woman and the rumours about his REAL sexuality that go on ad infinitum. Don’t assume that everyone was happy when Russell Crowe bowed out. And Kidman played it exactly the way several columns like Hollywood Elsewhere said she would. She dragged out the baby photos immediately when she started to promote the movie. How phoney-baloney is that.

  9. geronimo says:

    Not feeling this movie at all – not a fan of these big epic dramas anyway, think there’ll be a lot of staring meaningfully off into the Aussie horizon etc – and the fact that Luhrmann is now struggling to come up with a suitable ending doesn’t exactly inspire confidence. Also have to agree with b&b – Crowe is a much better actor.

    But Nicole looks gorgeous here, that dress is so her.

  10. jsan says:

    Kidman is channeling Daryl Hannah in that second to last pic. I still see way too much tweaking in her face: lips? cheeks? botox? Just let it go and be real, it is so much more attractive, because it seems to be so rare in Hollywood.

  11. Payton says:

    RUBBER face, straw hair, great body. Keith looks like he’s teetering on stilts! Somehow this couple is compatible, and it’s good to see Nicole beaming with happiness.

  12. debra77 says:

    I don’t know about this movie. But Nicole is still using the Botox or whatever. This is not the face that was in the HOURS. One of my favorite performances of hers. I hate her hair. Please bring the RED back. Hugh is so hot, but that won’t get me to the theater. The epic movies are just too over the top. Trying to hard to be BIG and impressive. I saw her on Oprah, and her forhead did not move once.

  13. Feebee says:

    Helen, can’t say I have much sympathy for the Australian stereotypes given the sh!t you guys give us Kiwis, don’t worry I can it take though.

    Didn’t have much desire to see this movie, thought Moulin Rouge was too much, fear the same here. Then the fact that Oprah’s waxing lyrical – always a turn off. But my God, Hugh Jackman looks fine, in and out of the movie.

    It’s a shame a man as talented and versatile as Hugh can’t be let be without gay references, derogatory comments about his wife, and put down comparisons with a fine but not as versatile an actor as Kiwi turned Aussie Russell Crowe.

    Nicole Kidman… enough said.

  14. Codzilla says:

    I’m with geronimo on not loving the epic-type movies, but I think Hugh Jackman is one fine piece of ass no matter which team he’s on.

    And what Luhrmann really meant was: “There are not many actors who have an ability to pick up CODZILLA, throw her on the bed and ravish her with believability.”

  15. Buttercup says:

    Feebee as a fellow Kiwi I agree with pretty much all that you said (except that I liked Moulin Rouge).

    Not to interested in seeing this film, will see what people are saying about it when it comes out. :|

  16. Kristin says:

    I saw a preview for this yesterday and it looks sooo stupid.

  17. Jeanne says:

    Gorgeous dress, and he’s a cutie! I know what you mean Granger about regional stereotypes. Everyone thinks Florida is teaming with snakes and alligators, senior citizens and funny looking tourists, and that we all wear shorts and flipflops year round.

  18. Kat says:

    She looks great. Really looking forward to this movie.

  19. Liz says:

    Sounds like a lot of city slickers, if people on the East coast actually turned away from the ocean they would see a huge beautiful country that is largely ignored by its own people!

    As for Hugh, love love love him! just because his wife is not a holywood plastic barbiedoll does not mean anything. He’s great!!

    Russel Crowe? thank goodness he’s not in it! “I am Drover” (robot man) :?

    and Nicole, why did they use her? should have tried a complete unknow (I here there are other actresses in Australia) Viven Leigh was an unknown.

    Will be going to see it, just for Hugh and the cows! :P

  20. sohbet says:

    Very nice dramatic,ramance a,d action, it’s all have inside it

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