Baz Luhrmann has revealed plans to turn his 2008 historical drama Australia into a six-part limited series called Faraway Downs. According to Deadline, the expanded Hulu and Disney + series will consist of footage captured for the original film, a new soundtrack and a serialised iteration of the story with a new ending.
The original film told the story of an English Aristocrat (Nicole Kidman), who travels to Australia to salvage a run-down cattle farm she has inherited. She soon befriends a local rancher called Drover (Hugh Jackman) and an inevitable romance ensues.
It was a lush, sweeping cinematic offering, but Faraway Downs will provide even more insight into the socio-political landscape of Australia in the 1940s, diving deeper into the racial policy known as the ‘Stolen Generations’, which saw the Australian government separate Indigenous children from their families on mass.
Addressing this essential aspect of the plot in a statement, Luhrmann wrote: “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.’”
The director continued: “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.”
Faraway Downs will be produced by Baz Luhrmann, Catherine Martin Schuyler Weiss, and Catherine Knapman. The series is set for release on Hulu, Disney + and Star+, although a specific release date is yet to be confirmed.