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Ridley Scott Plots Gertrude Bell Biopic
Her varied life may hit the screen...

31 March 2011  |  Written by James White  |  Source: Deadline

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There are some people whose lives are just destined to hit the big screen. While many of us spend our days reporting to one job or curling up at night in front of the telly, others are out living lives of adventure and diplomacy. One such individual was Gertrude Bell, who may yet see her life brought to the screen by Ridley Scott.

If you’ve never heard the name, Bell was an influential figure in the years between the two World Wars, born to a wealthy family and educated at Oxford. Not one to waste her talents, she first got her drive to be involved in Middle East politics when she visited her uncle in Persia.

She ended up becoming a blend of photographer, diplomat, archaeologist and spy, and helped set the borders of Iraq following the fall of Turkey’s empire.

However, she clashed with the British government by standing up for Arab self-rule at a time when the UK wanted access to the region’s oil-rich fields. Things don’t seem to change much, do they?

While the era has been soundly chronicled in the likes of Lawrence of Arabia, this is a chance for Bell’s story to be told. Scott has hired The Constant Gardener’s Jeffrey Caine to start writing a script.

One person who might not be so pleased at the idea is Werner Herzog, who has been slowly putting together his own take on Bell’s life and has reportedly been courting Naomi Watts to take the lead.

Perhaps he can take heart from the fact that Sir Ridders has approximately 17 gazillion projects in his development hopper and surely can’t get to all of them right away. Especially since he’s a little busy with Prometheus


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