Bad luck for Baz Luhrmann

His on-again-off-again Aussie epic is delayed again

Baz Luhrmann must have broken a mirror while working on Moulin Rouge. How else do you explain the run of sheer bad luck he’s been experiencing? First he sees his version of Alexander The Great undercut by Oliver Stone’s frankly pants camp-a-thon, and now he’s hitting serious delays as he tries to marshal Russell Crowe, Nicole Kidman and a load of Australian weather together to make a romantic epic based around World War Two.

He’s planning what will be one of the biggest Australian films ever made, but skittish suits are holding him up. 20th Century Fox – the company holding the purse strings – won’t sign off until all the elements are in place. “To say that it is a complex and large-scale undertaking is an understatement and I cannot formally announce the project until all of the crucial elements are secure," the Moulin Rouge helmer gabbed to The Australian. "Currently, they are not, and so it is true we've had to disengage some of our very loyal team. As soon as we are able to bring those crucial elements together I will be able to make a formal announcement concerning the starting date of the production, at which time it will also be named."

He’s already kicked off pre-production, working with both Russell Crowe and Nicole Kidman on the script, which apparently follows a love story starting in the 1930s and culminating in the 1940s Japanese bombing of Darwin. Think Pearl Harbor, but with a brain and a real heart. And he’s been scouting outback locations, but he’ll have to hope his thesps’ schedules gel the weather conditions. Kidman is hard at work on Noah Baumbach’s untitled follow-up to The Squid And The Whale, while Crowe is set to work on Ridley Scott’s American Gangster this summer. Which means that Baz is unlikely to be able to crank cameras until next year.

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