Disney+ is getting a series that needs some explanation. Since it originated as a movie, at its core, it remains a movie. Interestingly, it doesn’t contain any new material; it solely uses the original material.
Australia, or Faraway Downs in English, directed by Baz Luhrmann and starring Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman, expands its 2008 film “Australia” into a six-episode series. The series is set to premiere on November 26th of this year on Disney+.
Luhrmann’s motivation for this project stemmed from the desire to delve deeper into the themes of the movie, leveraging the strengths of episodic storytelling to breathe new life into the narrative.
The moment to rescue a movie that never worked
Australia was considered a commercial disappointment upon its release in 2008, grossing $211 million worldwide against a budget of $130 million. Hence, the director saw the potential for a richer and more extensive narrative experience.
In a climate where studios are reconsidering their strategies due to the challenges posed by the expensive production of spectacles compared to the benefits of subscribers, “Faraway Downs” stands out as a project that will cost very little money… and has a lot of potential.
“Faraway Downs” is more than just a rehash of the original movie: it presents a new ending and delves deeper into the core of the narrative. A notable difference is the increased focus on an indigenous Australian child, portrayed by Brandon Walters, who becomes entangled in the draconian racial policy of the government, commonly known as the Stolen Generations.
What makes “Faraway Downs” unique is that no new material has been filmed for the series. Instead, it cleverly assembles scenes from the original Australia movie to create a different perspective on the story, akin to what Zack Snyder did with “Zack Snyder’s Justice League.”
The cast includes stars like Nicole Kidman, Hugh Jackman, Bryan Brown, Brandon Walters, and Ben Mendelsohn, offering a fresh approach to a story that already holds a place in cinema history.