Angelina Jolie Attached to Lead Ridley Scott's 'Gertrude Bell' Biopic
Back in February, we learned that Werner Herzog was planning a new film called Queen of the Desert with Naomi Watts taking the lead role in the true story of British woman Gertrude Bell, who was a well-known traveler, writer, archaeologist, explorer, cartographer and political attaché for the British Empire at the dawn of the twentieth century. However, about a month later, we heard Ridley Scott was developing his own film about the pioneering figure aptly titled Gertrude Bell and now THR has word that Angelina Jolie has attached herself to play the lead in what could be Scott's next directing job after Prometheus.
The drama would certainly be more dramatic fare as Wikipedia says Bell "played a major role in establishing and helping administer the modern state of Iraq, utilizing her unique perspective from her travels and relations with tribal leaders throughout the Middle East. During her lifetime she was highly esteemed and trusted by British officials and given an immense amount of power for a woman at the time. She has also been described as 'one of the few representatives of His Majesty's Government remembered by the Arabs with anything resembling affection."
Sounds like a politically driven kind of film Jolie would be passionate about, especially after directing In the Land of Milk and Honey. However, Scott is also considering taking on a couple other projects following his return to sci-fi, including that Blade Runner sequel we've been hearing about. Either way, Jeffrey Caine is writing the screenplay and currently tweaking it as a vehicle for Jolie whether Scott ends up directing or not. The project doesn't currently have a studio, and the film is still in development, so Scott could also end up moving on to his gestating Gucci dynasty film (which Jolie was also interested in at one point) or Child 44, a serial killer mystery set in Stalinist Russia. We'll be sure to keep you posted as to what Scott's next film actually turns out to be so stay tuned.