SYDNEY, Feb 23 (Reuters) Oscar winners Russell Crowe and Nicole Kidman have signed up for an Australian historical epic to be directed by Baz Luhrmann, Luhrmann's publicist said today.
Publicist Maria Farmer confirmed media reports that the new movie, to be filmed in Australia's harsh but beautiful outback, would begin production in August.
Luhrmann, director of the hit musical Moulin Rouge, told Australian newspapers that he would direct the film and co-write it with Australian screenwriter Stuart Beattie.
Luhrnmann described the movie as a sweeping romance in the same vein as ''Gone With the Wind'' and on the scale of David Lean's ''Lawrence of Arabia''.
''We have some of the most extraordinary landscape on the planet and we want to get two of the most extraordinary actors in the world and put them ... in that landscape,'' Luhrmann told The Australian newspaper.
He said the film would be set in Australia from the mid-1930s leading up to the Japanese bombing of the tropical northern city of Darwin in World War Two.
Crowe and Kidman were to have starred in another Australian movie, based on the novel ''Eucalyptus'', but the project collapsed last year because of difficulties with the script.
REUTERS CS RS1252