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Naomi Watts Says Production on Werner Herzog’s ‘Queen of the Desert’ Is Still in Limbo

Written by on January 20, 2013 

Ever since we first heard about Queen of the Desert — in February of 2011, when Werner Herzog expressed his interest in casting Naomi Watts (The Impossible) as Gertrude Bell in the prospective biopic — it’s been a project that we’ve been tracking with vigor. And in the time since, the compounding news items have only wrought more positives: In August, we learned that elastic Cosmopolis star Robert Pattinson had joined the film (to play T.E. Lawrence), and, only a short period later, in November, we got the same type of news regarding the always-sensational Jude Law.

Unfortunately, the latest Queen of the Desert announcement is a bit less promising. In an interview at the ongoing Sundance Film Festival, where she is currently promoting Anne Fontaine‘s Two Mothers, Watts had the following to say about the film that would mark Herzog’s first narrative feature since 2009’s My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done: “It’s still a way’s off. I don’t know yet. Hopefully, it will happen. I just can’t travel again right now because I did a lot of traveling last year. It’s been a big year and it’s time for me to be home with the kids.” Watts expressed similar timetable concerns in a brief discussion (embedded below) with MTV News, even stating, somewhat surprisingly, that she’s not compleletely certain of Pattinson’s involvement in the film.

This limbo-like state of production is something we probably could’ve foreseen, considering the financial issues that were reported late last year. The bright side of this whole thing is that Herzog is still working at an absolutely remarkable clip. On top of the searing death-row conversations he’s captured in recent years (Into the Abyss, On Death Row), his latest doc, Happy People: A Year in the Taiga (watch the trailer here), will open this coming weekend in New York City, while he’s also attached to an adaptation of D.B.C. Pierre‘s Texas-set Vernon God Little that very well could end up being made before Queen of the Desert. And who can forget the memorable 60 seconds of screen time he brought to Jack Reacher?

How long do you think it’ll be until Queen of the Desert gets off the ground?

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