Director Werner Herzog is looking to get his Gertrude Bell biopic Queen of the Desert back on track. The film has Naomi Watts set to star as Bell, who worked extensively in the middle east and was responsible for establishing what would become the modern framework for Jordan and Iraq. She worked for British Intelligence during World War I, and was key in the dismantling of the Ottoman Empire and subsequent founding of Iraq. Jude Law had previously been set to co-star, but he subsequently left the project due to scheduling conflicts, providing quite the stumbling block for a production that was looking to start filming last month.
Now Deadline reports that James Franco is circling the project, in which he would fill the role that Law vacated. There’s no guarantee that he’ll sign on (Franco is, to say the least, a busy guy), but if he does then that would put Queen of the Desert back on the path towards production. Robert Pattison is also attached to star in the film as T.E. Lawrence.
Opening this weekend is director Steven Soderbergh’s psychological thriller Side Effects. Written by Scott Z. Burns (Contagion, The Informant!), the film is about “a successful New York couple (Rooney Mara and Channing Tatum) whose world unravels when a new drug prescribed by Emily’s psychiatrist (Jude Law)—intended to treat anxiety—has unexpected side effects.” The film also stars Catherine Zeta-Jones.
At the recent Los Angeles press day I landed an exclusive interview with Jude Law. During our wide ranging conversation we talked about old projects like Gattaca, eXistenZ, and A.I., how he got involved with Side Effects, what it was like to work with Soderbergh again, how he prepares for a role, and more. In addition, we also talked about future projects like Sherlock Holmes 3, the new Wes Anderson movie The Grand Budapest Hotel, Dom Hemingway, Queen of the Desert, his thoughts on the comic book genre and whether he’s interested in doing one, and a lot more. Hit the jump to either read or listen to the interview.
We recently spoke with Jude Law at the press day for his upcoming film Side Effects, and he provided some brief updates on his upcoming projects plus details about his role in Wes Anderson‘s Grand Budapest Hotel. Regarding his minor updates, Law says that the script for Sherlock Holmes 3 is still in development, but he hasn’t heard anything yet. “But you know what it’s like, it’s going to be about scheduling, it’s going to be about the right time for the studio and it is about keeping the bar raised,” says Law, “you know, coming up with something that’s really smart and making sure it keeps getting better.”
Hit the jump for what Law had to say about Queen of the Desert, Dom Hemingway, and Grand Budapest Hotel.
Jude Law has joined director Werner Herzog’s long-in-development Gertrude Bell biopic Queen of the Desert. Described as the female Lawrence of Arabia, Bell worked extensively in the middle east and was responsible for establishing what would become the modern framework for Jordan and Iraq. She worked for British Intelligence during World War I, and was key in the dismantling of the Ottoman Empire and subsequent founding of Iraq. Robert Pattison is already onboad to play T.E. Lawrence (ie. Lawrence of Arabia), while Naomi Watts is poised to play Bell. THR reports that production is set to begin in March 2013 in Morocco.
Ridley Scott had also been developing a Gertrude Bell biopic of his own with Angelina Jolie, but it appears that Herzog beat him to the punch. Law is next set to film Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel and will be seen in February in Steven Soderbergh’s thriller Side Effects.
Just a few days ahead of the limited release of his new starring role in David Cronenberg’s Cosmopolis, Robert Pattinson is reportedly joining Werner Herzog’s indie picture, Queen of the Desert. The picture, which stars Naomi Watts, centers on Gertrude Bell (Watts), “who was alternately a traveler, writer, archaeologist, explorer, cartographer, and political attaché for the British Empire at the dawn of the twentieth century. While only a commoner herself, Bell was nonetheless a kingmaker, helping found the modern states of Iraq and Jordan and installing their first rulers, King Abdullah and King Faisal.” Pattinson would play a young Lawrence of Arabia. Hit the jump for more details on his character.
Naomi Watts is in “serious discussions” with director Werner Herzog to star in his upcoming film Queen of the Desert. According to Vulture, the story is based on the life of British woman Gertrude Bell, “who was alternately a traveler, writer, archaeologist, explorer, cartographer, and political attaché for the British Empire at the dawn of the twentieth century. While only a commoner herself, Bell was nonetheless a kingmaker, helping found the modern states of Iraq and Jordan and installing their first rulers, King Abdullah and King Faisal.”
Watts is currently filming The Impossible with Ewan McGregor, which follows a family in Thailand during the 2004 tsunami. After that, she’s moving on to costar in Clint Eastwood’s J. Edgar. Vulture reports that once she wraps on that film, she’ll take a short break and likely move on to Queen of the Desert.