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    Kidman Climbing Crowe's Tree?

    Nicole Kidman could be nesting with Russell Crowe in a new flick.

    Crowe is set to star and now Kidman is in negotiations to join him in the Australian romantic fable Eucalyptus, Daily Variety reports.

    The Oscar-winning actors, who are both based in Australia, have been longtime friends--and, if you believe the tabloids, were even closer a couple years ago. This would be the first time they worked together on screen.

    Based on the acclaimed novel by Murray Bail, Eucalyptus centers on a story-telling stranger, who, to marry a widower's beautiful daughter, must first identify each of the thousand species of eucalyptus trees on the father's estate. Crowe is playing the suitor, and a third Oscar winner, Geoffrey Rush, is aboard to play the dad.

    Fox Searchlight, which is distributing the film, did not immediately return calls seeking comment on the would-be casting coup. It is assumed that Kidman would play the object of Crowe's affection in the allegory.

    Early reports had Bryce Dallas Howard, the star of this summer's hit The Village and the daughter of Ron Howard, taking the part, but she abruptly pulled out after director Jocelyn Moorehouse reportedly was looking to cast a local woman.

    Moorehouse, an Aussie whose previous directing credits include the art-house flicks A Thousand Acres (1997) and How to Make an American Quilt (1995), also shared scriptwriting duties with Michelle Joyner. The film is being produced by Uberto Pasolini and Lynda House.

    According to Variety, the only thing standing in the way of a Kidman-Crowe lovefest would be synching up the schedules of the two A-listers.

    Crowe, who recently finished shooting the Ron Howard-helmed boxing biopic Cinderella Man, has Eucalyptus penciled in as his next project. Kidman, however, may have some juggling to do to squeeze the tree tale in.

    The actress, whose last big-screen turn was in this summer's box-office bomb The Stepford Wives, recently wrapped shooting on Sydney Pollack's political thriller The Interpreter, in which she costars with Sean Penn as a United Nations interpreter who overhears an assassination plot.

    From there, she segued into playing nose-twitching witch Samantha Stephens in Nora Ephron's feature film redo of the '60s TV series Bewitched with Will Ferrell as hapless hubby Darrin.

    Following completion of that comedy, Kidman's scheduled to step into the role of Ulla, the buxom Swedish bombshell, opposite Nathan Lane's Max Bialystock and Matthew Broderick's Leo Bloom in Mel Brooks' big-screen remake of his Tony-winning musical, The Producers.

    Kidman's crowded calendar also includes a stint in Tony Scott's Emma's War, a film about a British aid worker in the Sudan who weds a warlord aiming to take over the African country. Then, there's her high-profile pairing with Jennifer Lopez in American Darlings, a World War II musical drama about the first all-female swing band in the testosterone-dominated 1940s nightclub scene.

    And last but not least, Kidman is set to star opposite Leonardo DiCaprio in Baz Luhrmann's Alexander the Great, playing Olympias, mother of the Macedonian conqueror.

    Kidman and Luhrmann, who originally teamed on Moulin Rouge!, recently reunited for a two-minute short/commercial for Chanel's signature No. 5 perfume. In it, she plays a Tinseltown star escaping a gaggle of paparazzi and striking up a romance with a handsome stranger.

    Sounds like a good warm-up for Eucalyptus, which is scheduled to start shooting Down Under early next year.

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