The Twilight star will join Naomi Watts in Werner Herzog's Gertrude Bell biopic, reports Variety.
Pattinson will play TE Lawrence, the British army officer better known as 'Lawrence of Arabia'.
The film charts the life of Bell, a writer, archaeologist, explorer, cartographer and political attaché for the British Empire.
Her close friend Lawrence was famously portrayed by Peter O'Toole in David Lean's classic 1962 film.
Ridley Scott is also developing a Bell biopic, with Angelina Jolie rumoured to be eyeing the lead role.
Pattinson was most recently seen in David Cronenberg's Cosmopolis and will next star in The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2, the final instalment of the hit film franchise which arrives on November 16.