Director Werner Herzog's Queen of the Desert starring Nicole Kidman and James Franco has been picked up by Atlas Distribution Co., marking the first time the entity will distribute a movie without Atlas Shrugged in the title.
Queen of the Desert tells the true story of Gertrude Bell, played by Kidman, who was a British spy, an archaeologist and more at the turn of last century and ended up playing a major role in establishing the modern state of Iraq. She wielded an enormous amount of power for a woman of her era.
Atlas Distribution was founded by John Aglialoro and Harmon Kaslow to distribute their trio of Atlas Shrugged movies, and they said a year ago they'd keep the company intact, infuse it with $25 million and release more films.
Queen of the Desert is the first in that effort, and it is planned for release in late September on a 1,000 screens.
The Atlas Shrugged movies, of course, were based on Ayn Rand's novel of the same name that is infused with individualistic themes that Kaslow says are present in Queen of the Desert as well.
"Gertrude Bell was a real-life Randian hero," Kaslow said. "This is exactly the type of film we hope to bring to the masses with Atlas Distribution -- an incredible heroine who thought for herself, took orders from no one and had a lasting impact on the world."
The film also stars Robert Pattinson as T.E. Lawrence, a contemporary of Bell's who was immortalized in the 1962 epic film, Lawrence of Arabia. The movie is produced by Nick Raslan and Sierra/Affinity is handling international sales.