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Last Updated: Thursday, 23 February 2006, 12:29 GMT
Kidman and Crowe lead epic film
Nicole Kidman
Kidman won a best actress Oscar in 2002 for The Hours
Nicole Kidman and Russell Crowe are to star in an Australian historical epic directed by Baz Luhrmann.

Production on the untitled film, said by Luhrmann to be a romance in the mould of Gone With The Wind, is due to start this year in Australia's outback.

"We wanted two of the most extraordinary actors in the world in that extraordinary landscape," he said.

Kidman and Crowe were due to star in Eucalyptus last year, but that project collapsed due to script problems.


Australian film-maker Luhrmann, responsible for the award-winning Moulin Rouge, said he would also co-write the new film with screenwriter Stuart Beattie.

He told newspapers in Australia that the film would be set in the country during the 1930s and leading up to the Japanese bombing of Darwin.

Luhrmann added that the film would be on the scale of the David Lean's epic Lawrence of Arabia.

Oscar winner Kidman was also the star of 2001's Moulin Rouge, which was nominated for eight Academy Awards, winning two.

She claimed the best actress Oscar for her performance in The Hours.

Crowe, who won an Oscar for his role in Gladiator, was born in New Zealand but moved with his family to Australia at the age of four.

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