Naomi Watts has reportedly departed Werner Herzog’s Queen of the Desert, but fortunately another A-list star has come aboard to take her place.
The news comes out of the Toronto International Film Festival that another great Australian, none other than Nicole Kidman is tapped to play the early 20th Century explorer Gertrude Bell.
The first actor change happened earlier this year, when James Franco stepped in to replace Jude Law as Bell’s lover, Henry Cadogan.
Meanwhile, Robert Pattinson remains the only original cast member set to play a dashing archaeologist-turned-British army officer, Col. T.E. Lawrence, whose writing earned him international fame as Lawrence of Arabia and who became close friends with Bell.
Herzog’s first narrative feature since 2009s My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done and The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call – New Orleans will chart Bell’s involvement in the formation of the Middle East at the dawn of the 20th century.
Nick Raslan will produce the biopic through his Palmyra Films along with Cassian Elwes and Michael Benaroya set to finance.
The film has a slated 2015 release, so we’re hoping Kidman‘s addition is much-needed boost for Queen of the Desert to finally launch with success.
Kidman, who will probably be making waves in the Oscar race for her performance as Grace Kelly in Olivier Dahan-directed Grace of Monaco is in Toronto where her new movie The Railway Man premiered Friday evening.