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Last Updated: Wednesday, 16 February, 2005, 11:05 GMT
Plug pulled on Kidman's picture
Nicole Kidman
The film marked a homecoming for star Nicole Kidman
Nicole Kidman and Russell Crowe's Australian film project Eucalyptus has been postponed indefinitely due to problems with the script.

The 13m film's set in New South Wales has been dismantled and crew members have been dismissed.

"We have agreed that the best thing to do is postpone shooting until the project's foundation is solid," said the film's stars in a statement.

Bad weather and actor Geoffrey Rush's withdrawal hampered early production.


But the film's makers have not ruled out a return to the project at a later date.

"We are confident that when the time is right this dedicated Australian production team will once again find a way to be on board," continued the statement issued by Crowe, Kidman and the film's director and producer.

Russell Crowe
Russell Crowe was due to play the romantic lead in Eucalyptus

The film was seen as a major boost for the Australian film industry, with two of its biggest Hollywood exports choosing to star in a locally-based production.

Bob Carr, New South Wales' premier, said it was sad to see the project run aground.

"Australian films have been very unimpressive in recent times. We needed a boost - we needed a good Australian made movie, a good Australian story," he said.

The film tells the tale of Ellen and a story-telling stranger - played by Kidman and Crowe - but he must name every variety of eucalyptus tree on her father's estate to win her hand in marriage.

'Absolute gem'

Kidman, who returned to Sydney to make the film, said she felt like a prisoner in her own home after a number of photographers staked out her house.

She originally won a restraining order against them, but it was subsequently lifted by a judge.

Actor Hugo Weaving, who was also due to appear in Eucalyptus, told Sydney newspaper The Daily Telegraph that the film's script was "an absolute gem", saying it had attracted the strong cast.


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