The Luhrmann Cut is coming! Filmmaker Baz Luhrmann‘s 2008 film Australia is getting a re-release, but this time as a limited series. The upcoming extended cut of the film is titled Faraway Downs and will be a six-part series releasing on Hulu in the U.S. and on Disney+ and Star internationally.
Faraway Downs is created from additional footage Luhrmann shot for Australia but will feature a new ending and soundtrack. The series will follow the same premise as its predecessor. The story follows Lady Sarah Ashley (Nicole Kidman), an English aristocrat who inherits a large cattle station located in Australia. When her land is threatened, Lady Ashley teams up with a stock-man named Drover (Hugh Jackman) to drive her cattle across the country’s rough landscape in order to protect her ranch. Along the way, viewers meet a young Indigenous Australian child named Nullah (Brandon Walters) and watch the trio’s journey unfold as it leads the country into World War II.
About Faraway Downs, 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.”
In a recent interview with Collider‘s Steve Weintraub, Luhrmann mentions his original four-hour cut of Elvis and mentions the upcoming release of Faraway Downs (still called Australia in the interview). He discusses how he views the show, describing it as “a really legitimate telling” over “filler,” citing it as a variation on the original film.
About revisiting Australia, Hulu Originals and ABC Entertainment president Craig Erwich said:
“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.”
Faraway Downs is executive produced by Luhrmann, Catherine Martin, Schuyler Weiss, and Catherine Knapman. Disney‘s 20th Television is producing the series.
There’s no set release date for Faraway Downs, but it is expected to release this Winter.