According to The Hollywood Reporter, Australian screenwriter Stuart Beattie, who offered moviegoers a new view of Los Angeles in Collateral, is returning to more familiar turf and will pen an Australian-set, period epic for helmer Baz Luhrmann. The project, a romance that is being compared to Gone With the Wind, is being kept under wraps. It looks, however, as if it could be part of a new trio of films that Luhrmann envisions.

The director famously dubbed his three musical films -- 1992's Strictly Ballroom, 1996's Romeo + Juliet and 2001's Moulin Rouge -- his Red Curtain trilogy. He then began talking about a trilogy of epics, which would include his film about the life of Alexander the Great as well as a Russian epic and an Australian epic.

Luhrmann had been developing Alexander as a starring vehicle for Leonardo DiCaprio and Nicole Kidman, but that film now appears to have been shelved. Luhrmann -- who has close relations with 20th Century Fox and is repped by ICM -- has not said what film he will tackle next, though he has begun meeting with actors about the various film projects he has in mind, and the Australian epic appears to be among the active possibilities.

Cinemark Movie Club
Brian B.