Hugh Jackman jumps to Baz Luhrmann's rescue

He’s replacing Russell Crowe in Luhrmann’s Aussie epic

Baz Luhrmann can breathe a little easier today, and start worrying less that he broke a mirror or two while working on his latest film.

Because although Russell Crowe has hotfooted it from the movie, an untitled romantic epic, the writer-director has nabbed the man behind X-Men’s Wolverine to take his place. “I rarely make a film and my process is unorthodox, but this fell into place nicely with Hugh," Luhrmann gabbed to Variety. "He's a tremendously strong choice."

Luhrmann still hasn’t revealed the name of his new project, which is set in northern Australia just before World War Two and sees an English aristocrat (Nicole Kidman, breaking out her accent book again) inherit a massive cattle ranch. But when some nasty land barons plot to try and force her from her newly-acquired land, she finds help the in the form of a manly cattle driver to move her 2,000 cows across hundreds of miles of Australia’s most dangerous, weather-beaten land. Oh, and when they do make it across the country to Darwin, they then face the bombing runs of the Japanese.

The man who mage Moulin Rouge isn’t counting his blessings just yet – we suspect he won’t be truly happy until he’s actually shooting the damn thing. Pre-production kicks off in October, with the cameras finally gearing up – all being well – in February next year.

But if you were thinking that this means he’s completely ditched his plan to make an Alexander The Great film following Oliver Stone’s damp squib, think again. “I never came to a moment where I didn't see myself making that film," he told Variety. "I'll do the Australian epic first, but I'd be very surprised if Alexander was not the film I made right after."