Greenlight power is everything, and it often requires a top-shelf or name-brand cast to light the fuse. Werner Herzog seemingly nailed it with the power trio of Robert Pattinson, Naomi Watts and Jude Law for his would-be next narrative feature, “Queen of the Desert” — the true story of Gertrude Bell (Watts), the traveler, writer, archaeologist, explorer, cartographer, and political attaché for the British Empire at the dawn of the twentieth century.
So this should be more than enough, no? But with what one assumes could be expensive location shoots in far off locations outside the U.S., “Queen of the Desert” hasn’t really moved forward. In fact, it seemed very up in the air in the last few months. Watts herself suggested the movie was on hold and Jude Law told us in a recent interview that he was likely unable to participate likely because his scheduling window had closed.
And that’s exactly the case for Law. Deadline reports, while far from a done deal, James Franco is currently under consideration and in talks to replace the “Sherlock Holmes” sidekick. There’s still no word on who he would play, but the trade says if they can manage Franco’s schedule and get him on board, it will likely get the picture back on track. Ridley Scott could have derailed the whole thing if he got to his Gertrude Bell project with Angelina Jolie first, but he seems preoccupied with his biblical Moses epic that will star Christian Bale.
Fingers crossed for Herzog, this is one we’ve been looking forward to for years when he first unveiled it to us.