Queen of the Desert is the latest movie offering from writer/director Werner Herzog. The film is a chronicle of Gertrude Bell’s life as a traveler, writer, archaeologist, explorer, cartographer, and political attaché for the British Empire at the dawn of the twentieth century. Bell is credited with helping to catalyze the formation of the Middle East at the dawn of the 20th century.
The film originally had Naomi Watts attached to star in the film as Gertrude Bell, but Deadline is reporting that she’s pulled out of the film and that best friend, Nicole Kidman, is in talks to step up and take her place.
Already confirmed for the film are James Franco and Robert Pattinson. Jude Law was originally attached to star, but was replaced by Franco recently.
Queen of the Desert is set to be Herzog’s first narrative feature since his 2009 film My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done? and The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans that starred Nicolas Cage. The film has yet to go into production but is slated for a possible release in 2015.
Kidman is currently in Toronto where she is promoting her new film The Railway Man, at TIFF. The film, based on a true story, follows a victim from World War II’s “Death Railway” who sets out to find out who was responsible for his torture. The film also stars Colin Firth and Stellan Skarsgard. Kidman will also be gracing our screens later this year as another real-life figure in Grace of Monaco, an American-French film about the life of Hollywood star turned Monaco royalty, Grace Kelly. The film is set for release on November 27, 2013.