Aside from the absolutely stunning vistas captured by Elvis director Baz Luhrmann, one the few memorable things about his 2008 epic Australia was just how bloomin long it was, and now it’s about to stretch even further over that sun kissed horizon with the news that his extended cut of the film is to be reedited into a limited series called Faraway Downs.
Deadline reports that Faraway Downs will premiere as a Hulu Original in the U.S, and on international Disney streaming platforms as a six-part limited series later this winter.
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.”
Set in northern Australia before World War II, Australia was about an English aristocrat named Lady Sarah Ashley (Nicole Kidman) who inherits a sprawling ranch and reluctantly teams up with a rugged local known as the Drover (Hugh Jackman) in order to protect her new property from a takeover plot. As the pair set out to drive a 2,000 strong herd of cattle over an unforgiving landscape, they experience the bombing of Darwin, Australia, by Japanese forces.
Released in November 2008, the theatrical cut of Australia drew middling reviews, currently sitting at 54% on Rotten Tomatoes, while its underwhelming box-office performance saw it crawl over the $200M mark worldwide. Hardly Gone With the Wind numbers.
However, director’s cuts can sometimes improve a film, take Kingdom of Heaven, Alien 3, and even Batman v Superman as examples of that, so it’ll be interesting to see how this new format, comprised of footage captured in 2008, alongside an expanded, episodic version of the story, as well as a new ending and updated soundtrack, will benefit the story.
Let us know whether you’ll be heading back to Australia to visit Faraway Downs by heading to our social channels @FlickeringMyth….
Faraway Downs will be released exclusively as a Hulu Original in the U.S., a Star Original on Disney+ and on Star+ in international markets this winter.