An adaptation of Hans Reusch’s novel The Great Thirst, Jean-Jacques Annaud’s epic adventure film, Black Gold, tells the story of the rivalry between two Emirs in Arabia in the 1930’s just as oil is being discovered, and the rise of a young, dynamic leader who unites the various tribes of the desert kingdoms.

Co-produced by Quinta Communications and the Doha Film Institute (DFI), the $55M-film’s cast features some big names sure to catch the attention of many, like Antonio Banderas, Mark Strong, Tahar Rahim, and Freida Pinto. And you wouldn’t know it by watching the film’s trailer, but French-Cameroonian actor Eriq Ebouaney (Lumumba, 35 Shots Of Rum, Case départ) and Ethiopian model/actress Liya Kebede (Desert Flower, The Good Shepherd) also make appearances in Black Gold.

In Black Gold, Ebouaney plays the role of Hassan Dakhil; though I haven’t been successful at learning how significant the role is.

While Pinto plays the role of Princess Lallah, daughter of ambitious Emir Nassib (Banderas) and wife to a forward-thinking Prince Auda (Rahim), Kebede plays an opposing role in Black Gold as Aicha, the wild Bedouin woman who lives off the land and makes her own rules, presenting a stark contrast to the supposedly privileged princess locked in her fortress.

Of Kebede’s role, Pinto told AHLAN!:

“Aicha is an absolute rebel,” explains Freida. “She’s rebelling against the way women are kept in society back in the time – she stands for freedom.”

Despite the fact that Black Gold has garnered some early reviews that are less than flattering, I’d still like to check it out, if possible.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Warner Bros. will distribute the film in France, the U.K., Latin America and the Middle East; Universal Pictures; International (UPI) will distribute the film in Germany and Spain; and Quinta Communications’ Eagle Pictures is handling distribution in Italy. Information on a U.S. release is not readily available at this time.