Alexander the Great: According to E! Online, Baz Luhrmann's Alexander the Great, which was to star Leonardo DiCaprio and Nicole Kidman, may not be dead after all...
"Baz is currently in Europe working on the final draft of his script for Alexander the Great. When he completes that draft he will decide whether Alexander is the next film on his slate," Farmer told E! Online. "We do not know where these reports have originated from. They certainly did not come from Baz."
A coproduction of Universal Pictures and DreamWorks, Alexander the Great is supposed to star Leonardo DiCaprio as the boy king and Nicole Kidman as Alexander's mother, Olympia. It had been scheduled to start shooting this spring in the director's native Australia and hit theaters sometime in 2005.
Ever the perfectionist, Luhrmann had already postponed shooting on the film once, opting not to rush work on the film simply to "be drawn into a race," as he put it to the Los Angeles Times last year.
The initial delay ensured that a competing project from Warner Bros. and helmer Oliver Stone, simply titled Alexander, would be the first one into production. That film, budgeted at $150 million and starring Colin Farrell, Angelina Jolie and Anthony Hopkins, is scheduled for release on Thanksgiving.
Luhrmann had scouted locations in Jordan, and producer Dino De Laurentiis signed a deal with Morocco's King Mohammed VI to build three soundstages there in exchange for the king putting more than 4,000 soldiers and 8,000 horses at Luhrmann's disposal.
But after a series of suicide bombings in Casablanca in May 2003, Luhrmann opted to shoot Down Under as a safeguard against terrorism.
The filmmaker forged ahead with preproduction, beginning work on the flick's digital effects, filming some background shots in the Himalayas, and even shooting a promo reel, featuring DiCaprio in full gladiator garb, to hype Alexander the Great at last year's Cannes Film Festival.
In an article last year, however, Variety hinted that Luhrmann was considering shelving Alexander the Great and taking on another project instead. Much of that decision hinged upon the latest draft of the script by David Hare, which was delivered in February, and which Luhrmann working on right now.
The New York Post, meanwhile, reported that Kidman was "downhearted" about the cancellation.
DiCaprio's rep, Ken Sunshine, had no comment on the report. Despite shooting the preview footage, the Titanic star reportedly has yet to sign a contract.