It’s all connected: Gertrude Bell, Harry Potter and more!

Deadline reports that James Franco is “circling” a role in Werner Herzog’s long-in-development Gertrude Bell biopic Queen of the Desert. The role — which was once going to be played by Jude Law — is that of Henry Cadogan, a British diplomat who met Bell when she visited Persia, or modern-day Iran, in the 1890s. Bell herself will be played by Naomi Watts.

This bit of news reminds me that I never got around to blogging the last bit of casting news around this film, when it was announced last summer that Twilight star Robert Pattinson is attached to play T.E. Lawrence, a.k.a. “Lawrence of Arabia”. I found that news kind of amusing because Pattinson has already co-starred with another actor who once played Lawrence.

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Review: Tristan + Isolde (dir. Kevin Reynolds, 2006)

tristan-isoldeThe legend of Tristan and Isolde, like many old tales, is shrouded in mystery. There were many versions of this story before the invention of film, and many more thereafter. But there don’t appear to have been any significant English-language films about these doomed lovers since the early 1980s, when two such films appeared almost simultaneously. One, Lovespell, starred Richard Burton as King Mark and Kate Mulgrew, now best known as the prickly Captain Janeway on Star Trek: Voyager, as his adulterous wife Isolde. Her lover, Tristan, was played by Nicholas Clay, who seems to have had a monopoly back then on conflicted, amorous knights; that same year, he also played Sir Lancelot in Excalibur.

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