Angelina Jolie Attached to Middle East Biopic GERTRUDE BELL; Ridley Scott May Direct

     November 17, 2011


Angelina Jolie is set to premiere her directorial debut In the Land of Blood and Honey next month, but the actress is also looking towards future acting gigs. Fresh off the Bosnian War-set Honey, Jolie is eyeing another socially conscious pic: a biopic of Gertrude Bell. Jolie has attached herself to the project, titled Gertrude Bell, which centers on the early 20th century pioneer. 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. Hit the jump for more, including Ridley Scott’s involvement and what projects the director is considering for his next film.

ridley-scott-imageJeffrey Caine (The Constant Gardner) is writing the screenplay for Gertrude Bell (tooling it as a star vehicle for Jolie), and THR reports that Ridley Scott is producing with an eye towards possibly directing. It seems like a smart move for Jolie, and if Scott is in the mood for a sprawling character-centric epic I think the team-up could make for a pretty great pic.

However, there are quite a few variables to consider before we firm Bell up as the next project for Jolie and Scott. Jolie is attached to star in Disney’s in-development fantasy Maleficent, and is also attached to the historical epic Cleopatra. The latter is close to gaining screenwriter with Eric Roth, and if David Fincher takes a liking to Roth’s iteration he may finally sign on to direct the project, which would surely kick production into high-gear.

As for Scott, he’s currently on post-production on his sci-fi return Prometheus but he’s eyeing Gucci, based on the iconic fashion family, as well as the serial killer mystery Child 44 for possible follow-up projects. However, THR reports that Fox is already considering sequel possibilities for Prometheus (duh), so if the film is a hit the studio will want to get moving sooner rather than later. Additionally, he’s got the Blade Runner remake that he’s keen to get started on, though the earliest timetable given for that film is 2013 or 2014. Whatever the case, Gertrude Bell seems like an intriguing project and Jolie’s a fine fit with or without Scott behind the director’s chair. Hopefully we’ll hear more soon.


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