LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Baz Luhrmann's untitled 1930s drama starring Russell Crowe and Nicole Kidman, which was eyeing a September start date in Australia, has been pushed back to February because of scheduling conflicts and budget debates with 20th Century Fox, sources have confirmed.
Crowe is set to reunite with "Gladiator" director Ridley Scott in July on Universal's "American Gangster," and won't be ready in time for Luhrmann's project. The Universal film, which will shoot in New York, also stars Denzel Washington as a Harlem heroin druglord, while Crowe will play a New York City detective, a role originally set for Benicio Del Toro.
Kidman, meanwhile, began work this week on writer/director Noah Baumbach's follow-up to "The Squid and the Whale." Set in New York state, the untitled family drama co-stars Jack Black, and Jennifer Jason Leigh as Kidman's sister. It is being produced by Paramount's specialty division.
Crowe and Kidman have been looking to work together since another Australian project, Fox Searchlight's "Eucalyptus," fell apart a year ago reportedly because of script concerns.
Luhrmann, who previously worked with Kidman in "Moulin Rouge," had begun hiring crew on his ambitious $150 million Australian outback saga, but they are now free to seek other employment. Fox declined comment.
Crowe recently told the Sydney Morning Herald that he was still keen to do the Luhrmann film, and that the director was keeping him apprised of developments.
"We talk ... he is mysterious," Crowe told the paper. "(But) it's all good."