Jackman and Kidman to Star in Luhrmann's Epic "Australia" Film

News   Jackman and Kidman to Star in Luhrmann's Epic "Australia" Film Stage and screen stars Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman will join fellow countryman, director Baz Luhrmann, on his new film "Australia."

Shooting on the film is slated to start in Bowen, Australia, in April 2007. Writers on the project include Stuart Beattie, Ronald Harwood (The Dresser) and Luhrmann.

The pre-World War II-set story follows an English aristocrat (Kidman) who inherits a cattle ranch and enlists the help of a driver (Jackman) to move a herd of 2,000 across the country only to face the bombing of Darwin, Australia, by the Japanese forces that had attacked Pearl Harbor only months earlier.

Another Aussie, Russell Crowe, was originally attached as the male lead but has since been replaced.

Jackman earned a Tony Award for his turn in the Broadway musical The Boy From Oz. Known for his film roles in the "X-Men" trilogy and "Someone Like You," "Swordfish," "Kate and Leopold," "Van Helsing" and the recent "The Fountain" and "Happy Feet" (in voice, opposite Kidman). His stage credits also include Trevor Nunn's staging of Oklahoma! at Britian's National Theatre and award-winning work in productions of Sunset Boulevard and Beauty and the Beast in his homeland.

Kidman last teamed with Luhrmann on his movie musical "Moulin Rouge." The actress, who appeared on the Broadway stage in David Hare's The Blue Room, is known for her film work in "The Hours," "Cold Mountain," "The Others," "To Die For" and "Dead Calm." Film director Luhrmann brought his stage version of La Bohème to Broadway in 2002. He is best known for his movies "Strictly Ballroom," "Romeo + Juliet" and the Academy Award-nominated "Moulin Rouge."