-Baz Luhrmann is finally ready to shoot his Moulin Rouge follow-up, the all-Aussie epic with Nicole Kidman and Russell Crowe (pictured) that the director has been talking about for ages. Luhrmann says the yet-untitled film, will be a Gone With the Wind/Lawrence of Arabia-style saga set in the Outback on the eve of World War II. Let’s hope it fares better than Kidman and Crowe’s previous all-Aussie epic, Eucalyptus, which fell apart during production last winter.

Tom Cruise mulls possible next projects, including a remake of the Western 3:10 to Yuma, scripted by Stuart Beattie (who wrote Cruise’s Collateral) and directed by Walk the Line‘s James Mangold. Other possibilities: kidnapping thriller Two Minutes to Midnight, directed by Unfaithful‘s Adrian Lyne, or romantic drama Fool’s Gold, about a couple who revive their romance during a treasure hunt.

-Mark Wahlberg will star in Manchurian Candidate-style political thriller Shooter, to be directed by Training Day‘s Antoine Fuqua. It’s a movie that’s been in development so long that Robert Redford was once supposed to play the lead.

-Jessica Biel joins Nicolas Cage and Julianne Moore in the sci-fi thriller Next, based on Philip K. Dick’s story ”The Golden Man.” She’ll play the love interest to Cage, whose psychic powers make him a target of Feds who want to use him for their own ends. Guess the producers don’t expect Lee Tamahori’s current legal troubles to slow down production.

Brokeback Mountain‘s Anne Hathaway will star in comedy Knocked Up for The 40-Year-Old Virgin‘s Judd Apatow. Also on board are the director’s stock players Paul Rudd, Seth Rogen, and Leslie Mann.

-Warner Bros. is already working on sequel scripts for Superman Returns and Batman Begins. Directors Bryan Singer and Christopher Nolan, and stars Brandon Routh and Christian Bale, are all expected to return. Nolan’s brother Jonah is writing the Batman script.

addCredit(“Kidman & Crowe: Kevin Mazur/”)