Jude Law has joined Naomi Watts and Robert Pattinson in Werner Herzog’s forthcoming indie Queen of the Desert.
Based on the extraordinary life of Gertrude Bell — a British explorer, historian, archaeologist, cartographer, writer and political attache who helped map the borders of Iraq around the turn of the twentieth century — the film will star Naomi Watts as Bell.
Something of a kingmaker, Bell was instrumental in putting King Faisal, son of the Hashemite Sharif of Mecca on the throne in Baghdad.
Bell also played a key role alongside T.E Lawrence — Pattinson will play the famed ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ — in mobilizing the local population to support the new regime.
Law will play Henry Cadogan, a British diplomat Bell met and fell in love with in Persia in the 1890’s. As history tells it the pair enjoyed an almost perfect romance, but Bell ended the relationship after her parents disapproved.
As perThe Hollywood Reporter, principal photography is slated to begin in Morocco in March 2013. Nick Raslan and Cassian Elwes are producing and Michael Benaroya will provide financing. The title is headed to the American Film Market and sales will be handled by Sierra Affinity Films.
Sierra Affinity, CEO, Nick Meyer, said:
“It is a great opportunity to be working with such acclaimed talent on such an important project. We look forward to seeing Werner Herzog make this exciting piece of history come alive for a global audience.”
Nominated for two Academy awards, Law, 39, is currently filming Dom Hemingway (playing the title role) and is coming off Anna Karenina, Side Effects and The Grand Budapest Hotel — the latter two in post production.
Known to most for his roles in The Talented Mr Ripley, Gattaca, Alfie, Cold Mountain, A.I, and the Sherlock Holmes franchise, Law’s casting promises some interesting plot angles between Bell and Pattinson (as Bell’s comrade Lawrence), and the jilted Cadogan.