Nicole Kidman to Replace Naomi Watts in 'Queen of the Desert'

Nicole Kidman to Replace Naomi Watts in 'Queen of the Desert'

The wife of country music star Keith Urban is expected to play the early 20th Century explorer Gertrude Bell.

Director Werner Herzog has reportedly found his new "Queen of the Desert" for the Gertrude Bell biopic project he has been long working on. Nicole Kidman is reportedly tapped to play the influential female British archaeologist and explorer after Naomi Watts left the project.

The male lead casting also previously had a switcheroo. "Anna Karenina" actor Jude Law was initially attached to portray the leading man before "Oz: The Great and Powerful" star James Franco was signed on to star in the pic. Also joining the cast is Robert Pattinson.

The movie will chart Bell's involvement in the formation of the Middle East at the dawn of the 20th century. Nick Raslan will produce the flick through his Palmyra Films banner along with Cassian Elwes and Michael Benaroya, Deadline reports.

Kidman's last two movies were both thrillers. She starred opposite Matthew McConaughey, Zac Efron and John Cusack in Lee Daniels' 2012 "The Paperboy" and then played an unstable mother in "Stoker" with Mia Wasikowska. Her next movies include "Grace of Monaco".


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