Production designer Catherine Martin, who has worked on all of Baz Luhrmann's big projects, from Romeo + Juliet to Moulin Rouge, and will be handling duties on the upcoming war epic Australia, was interviewed on Australia's Channel 9 recently, and confirmed that Australia will kick into production in ten weeks. The film has already secured its cast, with Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman holding the lead positions. (Heath Ledger was originally attached, but dropped out to play The Joker in The Dark Knight) Jackman will play a cattle driver who tries to save Kidman's ranch from an antagonist played by Jack Thompson. You probably remember Thompson most from his role as Cliegg Lars in Attack of the Clones.
When quizzed about Australia's progress during her interview, which was ostensibly about another topic related to production designing, Martin responded thusly: "It's really coming along. We're all very nervous and on tinderhooks because we're only ten weeks away from shooting. So everyone is very, very busy. We're out scouting everywhere and it's very....big!" It's not yet known how much the actual Japanese bombing of Darwin, Australia will figure into the film. It this is a full-fledged WWII action film, then Martin will be a busy lady indeed.