Robert Pattinson Cast as Lawrence in Herzog's 'Queen of the Desert'
The truth is: I'm an ordinary man. Some interesting casting news courtesy of Variety today. Werner Herzog is developing a new independent project called Queen of the Desert, about English writer Gertrude Bell, who is already set to be played by Naomi Watts. While the film will focus on Gertrude Bell's life "as a writer, archaeologist, explorer, cartographer and political attache for the British Empire", one of her good friends was Thomas Edward Lawrence, or T.E. Lawrence, the author who wrote Lawrence of Arabia and whom that story is based. Herzog has now cast Robert Pattinson to play Lawrence in the film. Read on!
Werner Herzog's Queen of the Desert is being produced by veteran indie producers Cassian Elwes (The Chase, Frank & Jesse, The Paperboy) and Nick Raslan (Rescue Dawn, On Death Row) and is looking to start production in the late fall later this year. This may just be the first big Gertrude Bell project to get underway, as Ridley Scott was/is developing one with Angelina Jolie as well. But Herzog has been working on his since early last year, and it sounds like he's gearing up and getting ready, especially if he's casting very big names like Robert Pattinson. This will definitely bump up the profile of this project quite a few notches, that's for sure. Especially as Cronenberg's Cosmopolis, starring Pattinson, hits theaters this week.
Gertrude Bell, via Wikipedia, also "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." We'll keep watch on this, not just because of Pattinson, but because Herzog covering Bell sounds intriguing.