Luhrman's Period Piece Gets Bumped from Production Slate

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Baz Luhrmann, director of Romeo + Juliet and Moulin Rouge, was planning to get his 1930's period piece underway this September, but budgeting woes, and the tenuous availability of stars Russell Crowe and Nicole Kidman, have conspired to send the project into development hell ... for the time being, anyway.

Says The Hollywood Reporter: "Baz Luhrmann's untitled 1930s period epic starring Russell Crowe and Nicole Kidman, which was eyeing a September start date in Australia, has been pushed back because of scheduling conflicts and budget debates with 20th Century Fox, sources have confirmed.

Crowe is set to star with Denzel Washington in Universal Pictures' American Gangster, and the project will begin filming in July in New York, according to Universal. That film is being directed by Crowe's Gladiator director Ridley Scott and is being produced by Brian Grazer, who also produced Gangster and Crowe's Cinderella Man. Because of the Gangster shooting schedule, while Crowe is committed to starring in the Luhrmann project, he could be unavailable to start another film in September. "When Baz is ready, I'm there," Crowe told the Sydney Morning Herald.

Gangster itself is getting a second incarnation. It originally was to have been directed by Antoine Fuqua with Washington starring as a Harlem heroin druglord and Benicio Del Toro as a New York City detective.

Kidman, meanwhile, began work this week on Noah Baumbach's untitled film for Paramount's specialty division and producer Scott Rudin. Set in New York state, the family drama co-stars Jack Black and Jennifer Jason Leigh as Kidman's sister."

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