James Horner has signed on to write the music for the epic adventure Black Gold. The film is directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud who has previously collaborated with Horner on the 1986 thriller The Name of the Rose starring Sean Connery and the 2001 war drama Enemy at the Gates. Black Gold is based on the classic novel The Great Thirst by Hans Reuschand and 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. The film stars Antonio Banderas, Mark Strong, Tahar Rahim, Freida Pinto and Liya Kebede. Menno Meyjes (The Color Purple, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade) wrote the project’s screenplay based on a story by Annaud and Alain Godard. Tarak Ben Ammar (Femme Fatale, Baaria) is producing. The movie is set to premiere at the Doha Tribeca Film Festival in October and has already been scheduled for a Christmas 2011 release in several European territories, including France and the United Kingdom where the movie will be released by Warner Bros. A domestic release date announcement is expected soon.

As previously reported, Horner also has the historical drama Cristiada coming up. The music has been recorded at Abbey Road Studios in London this May. The movie is currently awaiting a release date.