Ridley Scott Returning to the MIddle East with a Gertrude Bell Biopic?

Wednesday, 30 March 2011 10:10 Written by  Jordan DeSaulnier
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Ridley Scott Returning to the MIddle East with a  Gertrude Bell Biopic?

Director/producer Ridley Scott likes to keep a lot of projects in development, since its sort of a crap-shoot as to what will actually get the green light.  Deadline reports that Scott, currently hard at work on the science fiction prequel Prometheus, is looking to direct a biography of Gertrude Bell, a British archeologist, diplomat, photographer, and occasional spy who was hugely influential to British Imperial politics in the Middle East before Word War I.

Like her contemporary T.E. Lawrence, who got the mother of all biopics with Lawrence of Arabia, Bell was profoundly involved in Middle Eastern politics during the first two decades of the Twentieth Century, helping to establish the Hashemite Dynasties and create the borders of modern Iraq.  She was a rare British government figure viewed with respect and affection amongst the Arab people.  Her standing with her native country was diminished significantly when she advocated Arab self-government, when the British government instead carved up its imperial holdings for easier access to Arabian oil.

Apparently, the director thinks Bell's story could make a vehicle for a strong actress.  Scott previously attempted to tackle contemporary CIA entanglements in Jordan with Body of Lies starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Russell Crowe.  For the as-yet untitled Gertrude Bell biopic, he's hired Jeffrey Caine to write the screenplay.  Caine previously wrote Rory O'Shea was Here and adapted novelist John Le Carre with The Constant Gardener

Prometheus is Scott's much-anticipated first science fiction film since 1982's Blade Runner.  The mysterious erstwhile Alien prequel starring Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, Charlize Theron, and Idris Elba will keep Scott busy for the next year.  After Prometheus, the next project from the prolific director could be any one of the dozen or so he's been attached to recently, including this new Getrude Bell effort, Monopoly, The Forever War, The Kind One, Red Riding, or Brave New World.

Which of these would you most like to see Ridley Scott tackle once he's wrapped up with Prometheus?

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