Robert Pattinson to play Lawrence of Arabia in new movie

'Twilight' actor will star alongside Naomi Watts in a film about legendary explorer Gertrude Bell

Robert Pattinson has joined the cast of Queen Of The Desert, a new movie about legendary explorer Gertrude Bell.

Naomi Watts has already been cast as Bell, a British diplomat who travelled extensively in the Middle East and helped to found the modern state of Iraq. According to Variety, Pattinson will play her close friend and comrade TE Lawrence, better known as Lawrence of Arabia. Lawrence was famously portrayed on screen by Peter O’Toole, who received an Oscar nomination for his performance in the 1962 David Lean epic Lawrence Of Arabia.

Queen Of The Desert will be directed by acclaimed German filmmaker Werner Herzog, who also wrote the screenplay. The film is expected to begin shooting this Autumn (2012) in the UK and Jordan. Further casting has yet to be announced.

Pattinson, best known for the Twilight movies, is currently promoting latest film Cosmopolis in the US. The movie was released in the UK in June (2012) – scroll down to watch the trailer.

The final film in the Twilight franchise, Breaking Dawn – Part 2, will be released in the UK and US on November 16. Pattinson recently hit the headlines after his girlfriend and Twilight co-star Kristen Stewart issued a public apology for cheating on him with a film director.