Queen of the Desert

After several documentaries, Werner Herzog returns to narrative features this year with Queen of the Desert. Nicole Kidman stars as Gertrude Bell, an English explorer sometimes described as the “female Lawrence of Arabia.” Along with the male Lawrence of Arabia (played here by Robert Pattinson), she helped shape the Middle East region as we know it today.

Now a new Queen of the Desert trailer has been released, and you can watch it after the jump. Damian Lewis and James Franco also star.

Atlas Distribution unveiled the new Queen of the Desert trailer on YouTube.

There’s surely a great epic to be made of the adventures of Bell, by all accounts an extraordinary woman. This movie might not be it, or at least it doesn’t seem to be based on the trailer.

The promo alternates between scenes of Kidman getting annoyed at men who want to control her, and scenes of other men declaring their undying admiration for Kidman. And since the video doesn’t do a great job of explaining who exactly Bell is, and what she’s hoping to accomplish in the desert, it comes off like her greatest accomplishment is her love life.

It’s a bummer for Kidman, who’s recently come off of another failed biopic — the straight-to-Lifetime Grace of Monaco. But she’ll have another attempt to win us over with her serious acting later this year, in Secret in Their Eyes. And if that doesn’t work out either, well, we’ll always have Paddington.

A true story of the life of British explorer and adventurer, Gertrude Bell, QUEEN OF THE DESERT chronicles her journeys of love and loss in the Middle East during the early 20th century.

Academy Award winner Nicole Kidman (THE PAPERBOY, RABBIT HOLE, AUSTRALIA, THE HOURS) stars alongside Academy Award nominated James Franco (SPRING BREAKERS, RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES, 127 HOURS), Golden Globe & Emmy Award winner Damian Lewis (“Homeland”, KEANE, “Band of Brothers”), and Robert Pattinson (THE ROVER, MAPS TO THE STARS, WATER FOR ELEPHANTS). A curious and adventurous young woman eager to explore the world outside of England, Gertrude Bell (Kidman) goes to the British embassy in Tehran where she quickly falls in love with a secretary of the embassy, Henry Cadogan (Franco). This sparks the beginning of a life-long adventure among the beautiful but misunderstood peoples and cultures of the Middle East. Along the way, her path intersects with archaeologist T.E. Lawrence (Pattinson) also known as Lawrence of Arabia, and Major Charles Doughty-Wylie (Lewis), the British Consul General in the Ottoman Empire.

The story of QUEEN OF THE DESERT is based on the true-life story of Gertrude Bell, who was a British political officer and archaeologist but ultimately a trailblazer on her terms. The story details the extraordinary adventures of Bell wrestling with the conflicts of love and tragedy, enemy and friend, and foreign and familiar as she sought to understand and unify people from different cultures.

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