It seems that Baz Luhrmann's Australia is one step closer to kicking into production. Blayney News has reported that the town of Bowen, a coastal town in Queensland, Australia, has been chosen as one the primary locations for the epic starring Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman. The story centers on an aristocratic woman (Kidman) who becomes the owner of a cattle ranch in Darwin, Australia. Aided by Hugh Jackman's "rough-hewn drover," she is forced to take on local cattle barons after her land. The film is set in the 1930's and already construction crews are descending on Bowen to start on some of the period sets. Some of the sets underway are a hotel, and a small Chinatown. Bowen also began hosting auditions for over 1000 extras. The mayor of Bowen is already counting on the boom to local tourism, saying "Once Nicole and Hugh are here there will be thousands (of tourists)".

Blaynay News also reported that the filmmakers had received a $500,000 bonus from the state government to shall we say "encourage" the production to choose Bowen, and it appears to have worked. Filming is set to begin this May and is expected to last for six weeks, and there are still a number of main plot points under wraps, such as exactly how much of the film will be about the invasion of Darwin by the Japanese. Will it be an action extravaganza or just a romantic drama with a big, flashy third act? Australia is currently set for release sometime in 2008.
categories Movies, Cinematical