CULTURE

Baz Luhrmann’s take on Alexander the Great

Besides featuring Nicole Kidman and Leonardo DiCaprio, film director (he of «Moulin Rouge» fame) Baz Luhrmann’s ambitious new epic production will also feature shooting in Greece – and perhaps a Greek as the young Alexander the Great. Luhrmann, who was recently vacationing in Greece, will shoot outdoor scenes both in Greece and Iran, which will then be used as digital background. The Australian director’s new project, which has no official title so far but will focus on the life of Alexander the Great, is currently in development under the supervision of legendary epic film producers Dino De Laurentiis and Martha De Laurentiis, with a budget set at 150 million dollars. Shooting will begin in April, on location in Australia, Jordan, Thailand and Morocco. The film’s release has been scheduled for December 2005, in view of the 2006 Oscar awards. The ambitious project’s filming was postponed for a year so that it wouldn’t coincide with Oliver Stone’s «Alexander,» which is currently in production – that film features Colin Farrell as Alexander, Angelina Jolie as Olympias and Anthony Hopkins as Ptolemy. Luhrmann is also in search of a young actor, who will take the role of Alexander as a boy. A global casting search is already under way in order to find the right actor – aged 8 or 9. What is Luhrmann looking for? «He must be willing to train in horse-riding. If he has any kind of prior experience, this will be a huge advantage, given that one of the film’s main elements is Alexander’s relationship with Bucephalus, his legendary horse. Though acting experience is not necessary, the young actor must look a lot like Leonardo DiCaprio,» said the director in a recent communique. Luhrmann recently presented the film’s plot to Universal executives and members of the cast in Los Angeles. Meanwhile, parents who believe that their sons could be a young Alexander the Great (and a DiCaprio look-alike) should send a color portrait and complete CV, including age, height, weight and possible horse-riding experience to the following address: Universal Pictures Feature Casting Department, Untitled Alexander the Great Project, 100 University City Plaza, Building 2160/8A, Universal City, California 91608, USA.