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Werner Herzog Planning Documentary On Fashion Photographer Helmut Newton & An IMAX Look At Volcanoes

Werner Herzog Planning Documentary On Fashion Photographer Helmut Newton & An IMAX Look At Volcanoes

Let’s assume German filmmaker Werner Herzog does not sleep, and then count our blessings that he doesn’t. Still trucking along and pushing 70, in the last decade alone Herzog directed 11 films (both documentaries and feature-length narratives) and in 2009 he helmed two films “Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans” and “My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done.” Last year he released the death penalty documentary “Into the Abyss,” he acted beside Tom Cruise in “One Shot” (as a villain no less), he’s working on another feature-length film (“Queen Of The Desert” with Naomi Watts), and when he has time he also teaches at his own film school.

Now we can add two more projects to the laundry list. Hot on the heels of his extremely successful “Cave of Forgotten Dreams” 3D documentary (his second highest grossing film ever just slighty under “Rescue Dawn“) released in the summer of 2010, Herzog is mounting an IMAX-led “stylized documentary” about volcanoes. Always grappling with nature, the subject matter seems quite perfect for the filmmaker. 

“I might do something about volcanoes next, a stylised documentary,” he told Screen Daily. “I have become friends with a great volcanologist from Cambridge University called Clive Oppenheimer. He wrote a wonderful book called “Eruptions that Shook the World” about cateclysmic events of the past, some that almost wiped out the human race.”

The second documentary he’s cooking up is a portrait of the legendary and often-imitated German-Australian photographer Helmut Newton who passed away in 2004 and was renowned for his iconic work in Vogue and other high-end fashion publications. As for the “Queen of The Desert” film which is set to star Naomi Watts and will examine the life of explorer, archaeologist, writer, renaissance woman Gertrude Bell, well, it’s still looking for financing.

“It’s not easy to finance and the Arabian desert region is complicated these days, of course,” he said. Annapurna Pictures? Focus Features? Magnolia? Bueller?

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