Faraway Downs: New Zealand trailer and release date

If you can’t get enough of Baz Luhrmann’s outback epic Australia, we have some fantastic news. Now there’s even more of it, the already lengthy film having been reconfigured into the six-part television event, Faraway Downs.

When is Faraway Downs being released in New Zealand?

Faraway Downs is streaming exclusively in New Zealand on Disney+ from November 26.

What is Faraway Downs about?

We have to imagine that the broad strokes will still follow the plot of the 2008 film, which sees Nicole Kidman’s English aristo, Lady Sarah, become the proprietor of the sprawling cattle station Faraway Downs on the death of her cheating husband. She enlists the help of a mysterious drover called… uh… The Drover (Hugh Jackman) to help save the property from the nefarious designs of station manager Neil Fletcher (David Wenham, making his second turn as a villain named Fletcher in an outback movie, the first being The Proposition). Romance, action, and drama ensue, and it all takes place in the early years of World War II.

The cast of Faraway Downs

Absolutely every major name in Australian film and television circa 2008, it seems, including Jack Thompson, Bryan Brown, Essie Davis, David Gulpilil, Barry Otto, and Mendo.

Faraway Downs trailer

Why we’re excited about Faraway Downs

Australia was not particularly well loved by critics upon initial release, and nobody at all was complaining that it was too short. But here’s the thing: nobody else in the Australian film industry has the sense of scope and pageantry that Baz Luhrmann does, and we’re always keen to see what he comes up with.

Apparently the project germinated during lockdown when, production on Elvis having been shut down, Baz revisited some 2.1 million feet of footage shot for the original film to see if it was worth revisiting – and apparently it was. We’re given to understand that his original ending, ditched due to studio mandate back in the day, has been restored, so we’re curious as to how that changes things.