Fresh off the splashy debut of Elvis and its $31 million opening-weekend box office haul, maximalist filmmaker Baz Luhrmann has set his next project. An extended version of Australia, his 2008 romantic epic starring Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman, is becoming a limited series.
Titled faraway downs, the nearly three-hour film will be transformed into a six-part Hulu series that premieres this winter, Variety reports. The reimagining will reportedly feature footage from the original film, a new ending, and refreshed soundtrack.
“I originally set out to take the notion of the sweeping Gone With the Wind–style epic and turn it on its head,” Luhrmann told Variety. “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 that includes] alternative plot twists that an episodic format has allowed us to explore.”
The new show is named after the large cattle ranch that Kidman’s Lady Sarah Ashley inherits when her husband dies just before World War II. When cattle magnates threaten to seize her property, the English aristocrat joins forces with Jackman’s rough-and-ready Drover. Alongside their unlikely love story is the tale of Nullah (Brandon Walters), the biracial Indigenous child whose existence is upended by Australia’s “Stolen Generations” policy. This painful period in the region’s history separated Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from their families. The practice is often subjected to children abuse and barred them from speaking their native language.
“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,” Craig Erwich, president of Hulu Originals and ABC Entertainment, told Variety. “We look forward to taking viewers into the ranch and to experiencing all of the stories that are both held within and continue to unfold there.”