Angelina Jolie Playing Gertrude Bell?

Attached to the Ridley Scott project

It's still in the early stages of development, but Angelina Jolie has just become attached to the biopic of Getrude Bell, currently being developed by Ridley Scott.

First announced earlier this year, the film, obviously, deals with the incredible life of Bell, a traveller, writer and archaeologist who worked for British Inteliigence during the First World War, played a major role in mapping the Middle East, and was pivotal in the early creation and administration of the modern state of Iraq. In later life she founded the Baghdad Archaeological Museum to preserve and promote Iraq's Mesopotamian history (sadly, many of the relics were lost in the looting of 2003), and died a much-debated death - it may or may not have been suicide - in 1926.

Her story is one of the several hundred that Scott is considering post-Prometheus, and he may face competition from a mooted rival Werner Herzog film, said to be in development with Naomi Watts in the lead. But Jeffery Caine (The Constant Gardner) is now officially at work on the screenplay for Scott Free Productions, and is tooling the script specifically for Jolie.

Elsewhere on Sir Ridders' current wishlist (as it's being reported this morning), we're currently looking at fashion drama Gucci, which Natalie Portman has just joined; an adaptation of Tom Robb Smith's Russian-set thriller Child 44; and a film about Simon Mann, the British army officer turned mercenary, imprisoned for the attempted 2004 coup in Equatorial Guinea in which Mark Thatcher was also implicated. And then, of course, there's that new Blade Runner...

Which of those we'll see first is anyone's guess, but we'll keep you posted. Prometheus is out in June 2012, and Jolie's directorial debut In The Land Of Blood And Honey is released in the US on December 23.