Monday, November 21, 2011

Angelina Jolie as Gertrude Bell

Angelina Jolie is set to play a British woman who helped map out the modern Middle East in the early 20th century, the Hollywood Reporter said Friday.

According to Agence France-Presse, the Oscar-winning actress is slated to play the title character in “Gertrude Bell,” who has been described as the female Lawrence of Arabia for her pioneering work in establishing the framework for what would become Jordan and Iraq.

The project is still in development by British director Ridley Scott’s Scott Free Productions, said THR, noting that Miss Jolie has a history of playing strong female characters.

Bell was passionate about archaeology and languages, spoke several languages including Arabic and Persian, and wrote about her extensive travels in a number of books, including “Persian Pictures,” and “Syria: The Desert and the Sown.”

During World War I, Bell, who won widespread admiration among Arabs, worked as a British spy and helped to dismantle the Ottoman Empire and to found Iraq.

The project’s screenplay is being written by Jeffrey Caine, who wrote the script for 2005’s “The Constant Gardner.”

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