Variety reports that Robert Pattinson, seeking a post-”Twilight” career, has joined the cast of “Queen of the Desert.” Werner Herzog is directing the biopic of English writer Gertrude Bell. Naomi Watts plays Bell and Pattinson will play T.E. Lawrence.
Don’t know who Gertrude Bell was? Born in the late 19th century to a wealthy family, she was one of those intrepid, progressive English women of the period who figured, “Well, we’ve got this whole big empire, might as well go out and explore it!” She attended Oxford in the days before the university gave women degrees and then began to travel. She fell in love with the Middle East and spent most of her life traveling there, writing about it, and doing archaeological work. Her deep knowledge of the region and its people resulted in her becoming a part of British intelligence in the area during World War I. She is most famous for helping bring King Faisal to the throne of Iraq when that was country was created in the aftermath of the war. She was a mentor to T.E. Lawrence, the young British officer who also was intrigued by the region. Today he’s best known as the title character in David Lean’s epic “Lawrence of Arabia,” where he’s played by Peter O’Toole. In that very long movie, there was apparently no room for Bell.
Pattinson is currently out on his
sympathy tour press junket for “Cosmopolis,” which opens this week. In November, he’ll be seen in “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2,” which looks destined to have one of the most awkward publicity tours ever.