20th Century Fox’s Oscar-baiting Baz Luhrmann epic Australia is having a rough trip to the box office. We like 20th Century Fox, so we’re hoping the film will do well, particularly after the studio’s disappointing summer, but it’s two weeks away and the movie’s still not done. Baz Luhrmann said Monday night at a MOMA event in his honour that he had until Saturday to finish the movie and he was racing to meet that deadline.
Reuters: Oscar-nominated director Baz Luhrmann’s $130-million epic film “Australia” is due to make its world premiere in Sydney on Tuesday — but the director says he has not finished it yet.
Luhrmann, who was honored at The Museum of Modern Art’s Film Benefit in New York on Monday, is flying back to Sydney with a day to spare to complete the film he has spent four years working on.
“I’m going back to the mixing desk to finish it in 24 hours,” the Australian director told Reuters in an interview on Tuesday just before he left for the airport.
“It’s right on the edge, we’re right up against it. I literally have to on Friday night push that button,” he said. “This is really dangerous, I hope there’s no problem with the plane going back.”
Meanwhile, both Luhrmann and 20th Century Fox co-chairman Tom Rothman have denied claims that they insisted the director finish off his film with a happy ending.
Luhrmann told Reuters the following:
“You really think that on my films people tell me what to do? I don’t think so,” he said. “On my films I decide.”
“I wrote six endings and I shot three,” said Luhrmann, adding that he decided not to use the ending where Jackman’s character dies. “There is a death at the end of this film, but it’s a surprise how that works.”
And Rothman insisted to the LA Times‘ Patrick Goldstein that they didn’t make the director tamper with his denouement.
“Everything in that story was patently nonsensical,” Rothman said. “It’s all too typical of the way the world works today that everybody picked up an unsourced, anonymous quote-filled story in a tabloid from Sydney and nobody ever bothered to check to see if it was accurate. The facts are–Baz is a final-cut director and we never pressured him in any way, shape or form. He wrote the movie, shot it and cut it all himself without any interference from us at all.”
Rothman said that the movie “has probably had seven different endings at one time or another, none of them easily characterised as happy or sad.” He said Luhrmann chose the ending the director thought worked best for the film. “But you couldn’t possibly characterise the ending as happy or sad,” he told me. “I’d call it deeply satisfying but that’s because it’s very complex. In fact, you could have a long conversation about whether it’s happy or sad, which is actually part of what makes it a great movie.”
Well, if Luhrmann can choose the ending, then we’re sure Fox will be fine if he decides to make a last minute change and finish the film with everybody dying. (Just kidding; We haven’t even seen the movie yet.)
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