Alexander The Great: In a recent interview with the Sydney Morning Herald, director Baz Luhrmann spoke about the obsticle of location in filming his epic translation of the Alexander The Great story:

"We absolutely want to make the film in Australia. And we have wanted to do that for over a year now. So we're going to do everything we can to make that happen."

The hurdles included the rising value of the Australia dollar and the unavailability of "6000 soldiers who don't have a day job" as was offered in Morocco.

Luhrmann, who took Moulin Rouge to a best picture Oscar nomination last year, said the scale of the film was daunting.

"The reason that Alexander the Great really has not been done successfully before is the sheer scale of it - it's the world's biggest road movie.

"He goes from Greece to Turkey to Egypt to Jordan to the Hindu Kush to India, then all the way back again.

"And all the way, you're dealing with drama and spectacle. At one stage there were half a million people in one battle."

Whatever the eventual main location of the film, Luhrmann plans to work on the digital effects in November, then start filming once DiCaprio is finished playing the reclusive billionaire Howard Hughes in The Aviator in the middle of next year.

But he may shoot the young Alexander earlier. An international search for a boy aged seven to 10 to play the part is about to begin.

On the competition with another Alexander film planned by Oliver Stone, Luhrmann said he would not be racing to get to the screen first.

"I simply do not believe that I can make a film that requires such extraordinary challenges to be overcome and be rushing at the same time."

Brian B.