Another pothole and a tough journey for director Baz Luhrman , who’s lost the services of leading man Russell Crowe in a forthcoming Australian period epic that reportedly still has Nicole Kidman on-board in the female lead role. I was intrigued when I first read about Luhrman’s stated intention to shoot the film’s big scenes in the organic, old-fashioned Lawrence of Arabia way, with a minimal use of CGI. Variety‘s Michael Fleming is reporting that Heath Ledger has “passed” as Crowe’s replacement, despite a recent N.Y. Post report saying he’s in.