Sands Shift In ‘Queen Of The Desert;’ Nicole Kidman Eyed To Replace Naomi Watts As Gertrude Bell
Looks like director Werner Herzog is going to get a new Queen Of The Desert. I’m hearing that Naomi Watts is exiting the film about the early 20th Century explorer Gertrude Bell, and that Nicole Kidman is in talks to take the plum role.
This follows a switch of the male leads earlier this year, when Jude Law departed and James Franco replaced him. Robert Pattinson also stars. Bell is 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. The story plays with the sweep of Lawrence Of Arabia, potentially, and Kidman seems a nice match for the material.
Nick Raslan is producing through his Palmyra Films banner along with Cassian Elwes and Michael Benaroya. Benaroya’s Benaroya Pictures banner will finance the film. Sierra/Affinity will handle international sales.
Kidman is here in Toronto where her new movie The Railway Man premiered Friday evening. That Jonathan Teplitzky-directed film, about a brutalized WWII POW who gets to confront his Japanese torturer, is considered a prime acquisition title here in the festival here. Kidman also stars in the Olivier Dahan-directed Grace Of Monaco, which The Weinstein Company releases November 27, in the head of the Oscar race. Kidman is repped by CAA and Media Talent Group.
Continuing her promotion of Diana in Europe, Naomi attended a premiere for the film in Paris last night, accompanied by her co-star Naveen Andrews and their director Oliver Hirschbiegel. Naomi looked exquisite in a romantic white lace dress from Marchesa – I absolutely love this look on her, it’s so different and dainty! Without further ado, enjoy the HQ pics in our Gallery (and scroll on down this post for a couple of videos from the red carpet):
As posted about on the night, Naomi attended the world premiere of Diana in London on Thursday, and over the past couple of days I have added over 160 HQ photos from the event to our Gallery. Naomi looks just gorgeous in her white Versace gown and Chopard jewellry! I thought it was a very elegant and appropriate look for the film’s premiere. Big thanks to my friends Lindsey and Luciana for helping us out with pics. Further down this post are a ton of videos with footage and interviews from the red carpet, and check out our gorgeous HQ photos in the Gallery:
Toronto: Naomi Watts To Star In Errol Morris-Helmed ‘Holland, Michigan’
Naomi Watts is in talks to star in Holland, Michigan, a thriller that will be directed by Oscar-winning documentarian Errol Morris from a script by first time screenwriter Andrew Sodroski. The script is described as a suburban thriller with pitch black humor. Le Grisbi Productions’ John Lesher and Adam Kassan are producing and Sean Murphy will be co-producer. Production will start in April.
Watts will be seen next as Princess Diana in the Oliver Hirschbiegel-directed biopic Diana. She just wrapped the Ted Melfi-directed St. Vincent De Van Nuys with Bill Murray and the Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu-directed Birdman, the latter of which Lesher produced.
Morris is at Toronto to unveil his latest documentary, The Unknown Known and his past work includes The Thin Blue Line, Tabloid and the Oscar-winning The Fog Of War: Eleven Lessons From The Life Of Robert S. McNamara. Morris served as executive producer on Joshua Oppenheimer’s documentary The Act Of Killing.
Lesher is currently in pre-production on the David Ayer-helmed WWII film Fury with Brad Pitt. He produced Blood Ties, Guillaume Canet’s English language debut which premiered at Cannes, and was acquired by Lionsgate. Watts is repped by CAA and Untitled Entertainment.
Naomi promotes the release of Adore in US cinemas and iTunes before a new clip from the film.
Adore is released in US cinemas and on iTunes today!
Naomi Watts On Why She Initially Had Reservations About Playing Princess Diana
Dressed in a white Versace gown, Naomi Watts strode down the red carpet in London on Thursday night at the premiere of her new film, “Diana,” about the late Princess of Wales.
“It’s a nerve wracking evening because any time that you finally get to the point where you’re presenting a film to people is scary, but it’s out of my control,” she told Access Hollywood guest correspondent Tim Vincent in London.
Naomi famously turned down the role a number of times before finally agreeing to star in the movie, and she explained why she initially had reservations.
“All the reasons I was afraid of doing it were about the fact that she’s the most famous woman of our time and everyone remembers her so well and loved her so much and would I be able to deal with those — with the comparisons and everybody’s opinion if I got it right or not,” Naomi told Tim.
“So that was a scary challenge, but ultimately, I felt that it was an opportunity. This was a fascinating character and it’s quite hard to find complex, rich, interesting women. And, of course, the sensitivity of it was something that was a concern as well,” she said.
The actress said she worked long and hard to get the voice and mannerisms of Diana just right.
“It took a good six to eight weeks to get the voice down and I was sure I couldn’t do it,” she said. “I found it very, very hard, because it’s one thing getting the voice, but you have to stay relaxed.”
“Diana” will open in U.S. theaters on November 1.
“Everyone feels they know her so well” Naomi Watts on playing the people’s princess
Sixteen years after she died in a car crash, the life of Princess Diana is being depicted on the big screen for the first time.
The film tells the story of the last two years of her life.
The BBC’s entertainment correspondent, Lizo Mzimba has been speaking to Naomi Watts, who plays the leading role, about why she believes the film should have been made.
Diana is in cinemas across the UK on Friday 20th September.