Robert Pattinson Playing Lawrence Of Arabia For Werner Herzog

By Katey Rich 2012-08-14 14:49:44discussion comments
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Robert Pattinson is showing off a whole new side of his acting talent in this week's Cosmopolis, a deeply odd and frequently unsettling new film from David Cronenberg in which he plays a spoiled one-percenter who's just trying to travel across town in his limo to get a haircut, but all hell breaks loose instead. And as Twilight wraps up and Pattinson tries to figure out what's next, Cronenberg clearly isn't the only famed director who wants to work with the guy we used to only know as a sparkly vampire.

Werner Herzog, the legendary and brilliant director behind documentaries like Grizzly Man and LIttle Dieter Needs To Fly, is setting together his latest epic about man taking on nature, and he wants Pattinson to play one of history's most famous men to do just that: T.E. Lawrence. Variety reports that Pattinson is set to star Lawrence, the British Army officer immortalized by Peter O'Toole in Lawrence of Arabia, in Herzog's Queen of the Desert, which largely focuses on British writer Gertrude Bell, who will be played by Naomi Watts. Essentially Queen of the Desert will be for Bell what Lawrence of Arabia was for Lawrence, meaning Pattinson won't so much have to live up to O'Toole's performance as risk being overshadowed by Watts.

Bell and Lawrence were good friends, as she traveled through the MIddle East as Iraq, Jordan and Saudi Arabia were emerging as countries; he and Lawrence worked together, according to Variety, to establish the Hashemite dynasties in Jordan and Iraq. Remember how in Lawrence of Arabia, Lawrence is meeting up with Arab tribes to convince them help the British fight the Ottoman Empire? Bell helped him find them. Yeah, she's a pretty kickass lady.

Production on Queen of the Desert is set to start in the late fall, probably around the same time Herzog prepares to appear onscreen in his next, utterly unlikely acting role, as the villain in the Tom Cruise-thriller Jack Reacher. You never can predict what that guy's going to do-- but between that and this Queen of the Desert project, we're dying to see it all anyway.
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