Sierra/Affinity have announced that Jude Law has joined Werner Herzog’s upcoming period drama ‘Queen of the Desert.’ Written and directed by Herzog, the film also stars Naomi Watts and Robert Pattinson. Watts leads the pic as Gertrude Bell, an explorer, writer, archeologist and attaché for the British Empire, who is credited with helping to catalyze the formation of the Middle East at the dawn of the 20th century. One of the first women to graduate from Oxford at the turn of the 20th century, Bell traveled through the Middle East, defining the borders of Iraq, Jordan and Saudi Arabia. Bell became highly influential to British imperial policy-making due to her extensive travels in Greater Syria, Mesopotamia, Asia Minor, and Arabia.

Robert Pattinson is set to play T.E. Lawrence in ‘Queen of the Desert,’ a British Army officer whose writing earned him international fame as Lawrence of Arabia, on whom David Lean’s classic 1962 epic is based. Lawrence was a good friend to Gertrude Bell over the years, as the duo helped establish the Hashemite dynasties in Jordan and Iraq. There’s currently no word on Jude Law’s role. Nick Raslan will produce via his Palmyra Films banner along with Cassian Elwes and Michael Benaroya. Benaroya’s Benaroya Pictures banner will finance the film. Sierra/Affinity will handle international sales and will make it available to buyers during this year’s American Film Market. Principal photography is scheduled to begin in Morocco in March 2013.