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Ridley Scott eyeing Gertrude Bell biopic for his next project

03.30.2011

The man has given us films from BLADE RUNNER to ALIEN to GLADIATOR, and now is returning to the sci-fi genre with PROMETHEUS. But now he's looking for his next film after that one, and seems to be going in a very different direction from his usual epic fare.

Scott wants to direct a biopic about Gertrude Bell, who I'm sure the majority of you are not familiar with, myself included before I read this description of her life.

Born to privilege in England, the Oxford-educated Bell found her calling in the desert while visiting her diplomat uncle in Persia. She became a seminal figure in Middle East politics during the run-up to WWI, acting in roles that ranged from archaeologist to diplomat, photographer and spy. While she helped sort out the borders of Iraq after the fall of the Turkish Empire, she lost favor with her government for strongly advocating Arab self-rule. The Brits preferred direct access to the oil fields.

Well she certainly sounds well-rounded, and the part would be a great and complex challenge for any actress looking for a leading role under Sir Ridley. The man is no stranger to strong female protagonists, and has created some great ones over the years between Ripley, Thelma and Louise, and G.I. Jane.

That's Bell above, and I can't quite come up with a face equivalent on the spot, though I'm guessing no one will complain terribly too much if some liberties are taken with her appearance. Thoughts?

Extra Tidbit: Sorry, but I haven't seen a truly great Scott film since GLADIATOR in 2000. The famed director's cut of KINGDOM OF HEAVEN that's always brought up still just doesn't compare to his earlier work.
Source: Deadline

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