‘Queen of the Desert’ among the hottest titles previewed at the American Film Market + more!

In Screen Daily’s print issue for the American Film Market, they previewed some of the hottest titles gaining interest with buyers. Queen of the Desert was among the titles and confirmed the current cast:

QOTD

Damian Lewis also tweeted about meeting with Werner Herzog:

Production for QOTD starts Dec. 15, 2013 through to Jan. 15, 2014. Filming will take place in London, Jordan and Morocco.

NEW: Damian Lewis joins the ‘Queen of the Desert’ cast + Production set for December

Arty-shots-for-mrporter-com-damian-lewis-32891681-634-839Deadline is reporting that Damian Lewis (Homeland) will join Queen of the Desert as Nicole Kidman’s love interest. They also report that filming will begin in December.

From Deadline:

Damian Lewis, who has won Golden Globes and Emmys for his work as POW-turned-terrorist Nicolas Brody in Showtime’s Homeland, is near a deal to star opposite Nicole Kidman in director Werner Herzog’s Queen Of The Desert. The UK-born Lewis won’t have to hide his homegrown accent for the feature: He will play Lt. Col. Charles Doughty-Wylie, an unhappily married English war hero who engages in a turbulent affair with Gertrude Bell (Kidman), with whom he exchanged love letters with from 1913-1915 until he was killed in active duty at Gallipoli.

Production is scheduled to begin in December.

Queen Of The Desert refers to Bell, the iconic explorer, writer, archeologist and attaché for the British Empire who is credited with helping to catalyze the formation of the Middle East at the dawn of the 20th century. Nick Raslan is producing through his Palmyra Films banner along with Cassian Elwes and Michael Benaroya. Benaroya Pictures banner is financing the film. Sierra/Affinity will handle international sales.

Lewis is represented by WME, Markham, Froggatt and Irwin, and Karl Austen.

 

Naomi Watts and Robert Pattinson exit ‘Queen of the Desert’? THR and Deadline reports conflict

UPDATE: Deadline reports that Nicole Kidman is in talks to replace Naomi Watts, James Franco to replace Jude Law and Robert Pattinson is still in.

UPDATE: Producer, Cassian Elwes, tweeted about the recent news but it doesn’t clear up much. We have to wait and see :)

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Producer, Cassian Elwes, had a Q&A with The Hollywood Reporter and it was revealed that Naomi Watts and Robert Pattinson exited the film. Elwes also said there should be an announcement about the film status soon.

Excerpt from THR:

THR: With Naomi Watts and Robert Pattinson dropping out of Werner Herzog’s Gertrude Bell biopic Queen of the Desert, is the project dead?

Elwes: It’s been in casting hell, but we feel like we are coming out of it now. I think we’re close to making an announcement.

CASTING: Deadline reports James Franco in talks to replace Jude Law in Queen of the Desert

UPDATE: Adding commentary from The Playlist:

Green light power is everything so that often means a top-shelf or namebrand cast to light the fuse. Werner Herzogseemingly 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 expense 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 in 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.

Deadline is reporting some circling happening with James Franco potentially replacing Jude Law in Queen of the Desert:

James FrancoI’m not certain it’s going to happen as they try to sort scheduling issues, but Werner Herzog’s Queen Of The Desert has James Franco circling the role that Jude Law was going to play. If you recall, Herzog lined up Naomi Watts and Robert Pattinson to star in the story of Gertrude Bell’s life as a traveler, writer, archaeologist, explorer, cartographer, and political attaché for the British Empire at the dawn of the 20th Century. Law had signed on to the film, but exited awhile ago to do the play Henry V, and the project ground to a halt. Getting a commitment from Franco would put the picture back on track. Stay tuned. There is kind of a race on Gertrude Bell, as Ridley Scott also has one that Angelina Jolie was eyeing. But it looks like Scott is working hard on his Biblical film Exodus at Fox–Christian Bale is eyeing the role of Moses–and Jolie is preparing to direct Unbroken, the unbelievable life of Olympian sprinter-turned WWII POW Louis Zamperini. So both of them are certainly preoccupied.

We’ll keep you guys posted as this develops!

‘Queen Of The Desert’ Replaces Jude Law And Schedules September Shoot In Morocco

Queen of the Desert fans received some exciting updates today!

Producer Cassian Elwes tweeted that Jude Law has been replaced. We look forward to learning of his replacement soon!

Also, Division Films, co-producer, tweeted that the movie shoot has been scheduled for a September 2013 start date and will be filmed in Morocco.

Check back often for updates! We’ll share the news as it is received!