It seems Angelina Jolie is determind to play a woman of change in the Middle East in something. Just a day after her long developing "Cleopatra" kicked back to life, with Eric Roth now writing the script and David Fincher considering the director's chair, here comes another big project with a different auteur looking to come aboard.
Jolie is now attached to star in "Gertrude Bell," a biopic set up at Scott Free Productions with Ridley Scott eyeing taking it on himself. Gertrude Bell was a British woman who wore the hats of traveler, writer, archaeologist, explorer, cartographer, and political attaché all at once for the British Empire at the dawn of the twentieth century. While only a commoner herself, Bell was massively influential in the region, helping found the modern states of Iraq and Jordan and installing their first rulers, King Abdullah and King Faisal. She earned the nickname "The Queen Of The Desert."
Jeffrey Caine ("The Constant Gardner," "GoldenEye") will pen the script for the project that is still in very early stages, and isn't yet housed at a studio. So it could be a while off. And that's exactly why Scott isn't a sure thing just yet.
According to the trade, the director currently has a shortlist of projects he's considering to direct following "Prometheus" including: "Gucci" the long developing tale of the fashion icon that also had Angelina Jolie and Leonardo DiCaprio circling at one point; another long gestating movie, a Soviet-era thriller entitled "Child 44" and -- fanboy alert! -- possibly a "Prometheus" sequel. The studio is apparently already toying with the idea of a follow-up should the movie open like gangbusters next summer. Curiously not mentioned in all this is the new "Blade Runner" movie, but there's the thing: somebody like Scott generally has at least a dozen options and projects all on the go at various times. So while this might be what he's looking at now, all that could change next month or six months down the road as each film continues to take shape.
Regardless, after getting behind the camera for her Oscar contender "In The Land Of Blood Of Honey," and following the disappointing trifle of "The Tourist," Jolie seems eager to remind all that she's An Actress And Star. And this kind of movie is definitely the right way to do it.
As for Werner Herzog's movie about the same subject that he's hoping to make with Naomi Watts, he better get on that. He recently told us he still needs financing to get it made, but you can bet if Jolie's project rolls, his will be killed dead. But what if they joined forces and it became a Jolie/Herzog pairing instead? Yeah, we'd pay to see that. C'mon Hollywood, make it happen. [THR]