Actor Russell Crowe is talking about it on red carpets, manyare hoping that principal photography will start in July or August, but thereis still no green light from 20th Century Fox for a fourth feature by Baz Luhrmann.

Crowe and Nicole Kidman are billed as the leads and insiderssay that Catherine Knapman, who was co-producer on Luhrmann's MoulinRouge, is on board as one of the producers. Luhrmannis working with Master AndCommander scriptwriter John Collee.

The description most commonly bandied around for the pictureis "a romantic outback Australian Gone With The Wind". It is set around the time of World WarII and is to be shot in the north-west corner of Australia.This is a very remote area subject to extreme weather conditions, which iscausing logistical and budget challenges.

"Baz's development slate includeshis three epics - Alexander The Great, the Australian epic and the European epic,"said Lurhmann spokesperson Maria Farmer.

"At the moment he is working on the Australian and Europeanepics in parallel and he would be delighted if Russell and Nicole were to beinvolved in the Australian epic. Baz is cautious andextremely thorough in his development process but he is hopeful that the rightconditions will come together so he can decide to move the Australian epic intofirst position and commence production early in 2006."

Luhrmann's previous films, whichinclude Romeo + Juliet and his debutfilm Strictly Ballroom, arecollectively known as the red curtain trilogy. Romeo + Juliet and MoulinRouge were also both backed by Fox.

Crowe and Kidman, who both learned their craft in Australiabut have not worked together, were slated to star in Eucalyptus, the adaptation of Murray Bail's novel to be directed byJocelyn Moorhouse and produced by UbertoPasolini and Lynda House last year. But FoxSearchlight announced on February 11, 2005, that it had been postponed because the script was not ready.