Page last updated at 08:59 GMT, Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Luhrmann's Australia 'unfinished'

Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman star in the film

Director Baz Luhrmann says he has yet to finish his $130m (84.2m) epic film Australia, despite the fact it is due to have its world premiere next week.

Luhrmann is to fly back to Sydney with just a day to spare to complete the film, which stars Nicole Kidman.

"We're right up against it, I literally have to on Friday night push that button," he told news agency Reuters.

The director was speaking after being honoured at The Museum of Modern Art's Film Benefit in New York on Monday.

The 46-year-old, who has spent the last four years working on the film, said he was "going back to the mixing desk to finish it in 24 hours".

"This is really dangerous, I hope there's no problem with the plane going back," he added.

Luhrmann said a rough cut of the film, which also stars Hugh Jackman, had so far only been shown to US talk show host Oprah Winfrey, her audience, and Good Morning America host Diane Sawyer.

Six endings

Kidman and Jackman appeared on Winfrey's show on Monday, where the host praised their work, saying: "I have not been this excited about a movie since I don't know when."

The film tells the tale of an English aristocrat (Kidman) who inherits a sprawling Outback property and falls in love with a cowboy (Jackman) only to find themselves caught in the Japanese wartime bombing of Darwin.

The director brushed off media reports that Twentieth Century Fox had forced him to change the ending of the movie.

"You really think that on my films people tell me what to do? I don't think so - on my films I decide," he said.

"I wrote six endings and I shot three," said Luhrmann, adding that the climax of the film would be a "surprise".

Australia opens in the UK on 26 December.

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