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Moulin Rouge!: 20 years on

Baz Luhrmann and Catherine Martin reflect on some things you never knew about the making of Moulin Rouge!, 20 years after it hit Australian cinemas.

On 24th May, 2001 Baz Luhrmann’s highly anticipated follow-up to Romeo + Juliet, Moulin Rouge! arrived in Australian cinemas and reignited the screen musical. Twenty years on and the dynamic filmmaking partnership of writer, director and producer Baz Luhrmann and costume and production designer Catherine Martin reveal fascinating insights into how the film came to be.

The role of the Green Fairy, played by Kylie Minogue, actually had a very different origin.

“Originally, I had this idea of this ferocious, monstrous creature,” explains Luhrmann. “And I had it sung by Ozzy Osbourne. I thought this is not quite the Green Fairy… it should be more euphoric.”

Enter Kylie Minogue.

In this wide ranging interview, Luhrmann and Martin also reveal other stories behind the making of the film, including how many costumes and designs had to be created from scratch, how singing wasn’t allowed in the first released trailer for the film, and the difficult world of music publishing rights that Luhrmann had to overcome in order to use the songs in the film.

Moulin Rouge! is available to stream on Disney+ here while Moulin Rouge! The Musical opens in Melbourne this August.