x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 17 January 2018

Naomi Watts and Robert Pattinson to star in Gertrude Bell biopic

Plus, Robert Downey Jr hurt on Iron Man 3 set; Michael J Fox to return to TV; Placebo cuts performance in Austria; Jimmy Kimmel engaged to show's writer; and Jenny McCarthy splits with Brian Urlacher.

Naomi Watts will play Gertrude Bell in the biopic Queen of the Desert. Valery Hache / AFP
Naomi Watts will play Gertrude Bell in the biopic Queen of the Desert. Valery Hache / AFP

Watts, Pattinson to star in Bell biopic

Naomi Watts has signed on to portray the archaeologist and writer Gertrude Bell in the biopic Queen of the Desert, directed by Werner Herzog. Robert Pattinson will co-star as TE Lawrence, better known as Lawrence of Arabia. Bell has been described as the female Lawrence of Arabia because of the effect she had in the Middle East and her work in establishing what would become the modern framework for Jordan and Iraq. Ridley Scott is reportedly working on his own Bell biopic, to be headlined by Angelina Jolie.

Robert Downey hurt on Iron Man 3 set

Production on Iron Man 3 is on hold after Robert Downey Jr hurt his foot during filming. Marvel Studios said Thursday that Downey was injured while performing a stunt and "there will be a short delay in production while he recuperates". Iron Man 3 is set for release next summer. Downey co-stars with Gwyneth Paltrow, Guy Pearce and Ben Kingsley. - AP

Michael J Fox to return to TV

Michael J Fox is reportedly in talks to star in a sitcom produced by Sony Pictures for a 2013 debut. He is working on the new project with Will Gluck, the director of the film Easy A, and the writer Sam Laybourne, whose credits include Cougar Town and Arrested Development. Fox, 51, had Parkinson's disease diagnosed in 1991 and semi-retired from acting in 2000. - AP

Placebo cuts performance in Austria

The British rock band Placebo left fans short-changed after performing just one song at a music festival in Austria that they were headlining. The band's bassist Stefan Olsdal briefly returned in tears to the Frequency Festival on Thursday to announce that the singer Brian Molko "is not well and cannot play the show". The band later released a statement saying Molko had a virus and that "the adrenalin rush from the crowd as they walked on stage disorientated him". Other performers at the four-day festival, which ran until Saturday, included The Killers, Korn and the former Oasis singer Noel Gallagher's new band High Flying Birds. - AFP

Jimmy Kimmel engaged to show's writer

Jimmy Kimmel is engaged to his girlfriend Molly McNearney, the head writer of his show Jimmy Kimmel Live. Kimmel popped the question during a recent holiday in South Africa. They started dating in 2009. - AP

Jenny McCarthy splits with Brian Urlacher

Jenny McCarthy says she has broken up with the Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher. "Brian and I have decided to turn our romance into an amazing friendship. I will continue to be the biggest cheerleader for him," she said in a statement. McCarthy, 39, was previously involved with Jim Carrey. - AP