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Naomi Watts May Play ‘Queen Of The Desert’ For Werner Herzog

Naomi Watts May Play 'Queen Of The Desert' For Werner Herzog

After letting Nicolas Cage essentially play himself in “Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans” and delving into 3D with “Cave of Forgotten Dreams,” Werner Herzog looks set to tackle a massive period tale.

Vulture reports that the director is in “serious discussions” with Naomi Watts for “Queen of the Desert.” The film would tell the story of “Gertrude Bell, a real-life British woman 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.” We spoke to Herzog last summer and he talked briefly about the film saying, “it’s a big epic film set in the desert” and that the picture “certainly will not use 3D.”

Currently, Watts is shooting “The Impossible” with Ewan McGregor and will move over to Clint Eastwood‘s “J. Edgar” next month, but “Queen of the Desert” is not yet certain. There is currently no studio behind what sounds like a fairly expensive film and even with Watts signing on, it might take some convincing to get backers on board. That said, Herzog is known (and brags) for always coming in under budget and on schedule so that could work in his favor. Even if this doesn’t work out, Herzog told us he’s got “another film in Texas, [set] in a maximum security prison” that he’s been working on too. But a Watts/Herzog pairing sounds potentially great and we hope that the film gets the momentum behind it needed to move things forward.

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