- Kristen Stewart (opens in new tab) has been cast to portray the late Princess Diana in an upcoming film titled Spencer.
- The film is set to be directed by Pablo Larraín (Jackie) with a script helmed by Steven Knight (Peaky Blinders).
- Spencer is set to begin production in 2021.
Kristen Stewart is set to portray the late Princess Diana in a new film titled Spencer. According to Deadline (opens in new tab), Pablo Larraín will direct Stewart in the new drama, which will commence production in 2021. The filmmaker isn't a stranger to directing some of history's most fascinating women; he also helmed 2016's critically acclaimed Jackie which starred Natalie Portman as Jacqueline Kennedy in the aftermath of John F. Kennedy's murder.
Per Deadline, the Steven Knight-scripted film will take place over the span of a weekend in the early '90s when Princess Diana ultimately decides to end her marriage to Prince Charles and plan a life apart from the royal family. The story will reportedly take place over three days and take viewers into one of the royal's last Christmas holidays spent in the House of Windsor at the queen's Sandringham estate in Norfolk, England.
"We all grew up, at least I did in my generation, reading and understanding what a fairy tale is. Usually, the prince comes and finds the princess, invites her to become his wife and eventually she becomes queen. That is the fairy tale," explained Larraín to Deadline. "When someone decides not to be the queen, and says, I’d rather go and be myself, it’s a big big decision, a fairy tale upside down. I’ve always been very surprised by that and thought it must have been very hard to do. That is the heart of the movie."
The film will not cover Diana’s tragic death in 1997 but will instead focus on the breaking down of her and Charles’s relationship, as well as her fierce love for her two children, Prince William and Prince Harry.
The Chilean director expressed that he's "always been intrigued and fascinated" by the role of the royal family within global culture. He explained that the film will focus on how Diana's inner independence continued to inspire generations of women, even to this day.
"We decided to get into a story about identity, and around how a woman decides somehow, not to be the queen," he added. "She’s a woman who, in the journey of the movie, decides and realizes that she wants to be the woman she was before she met Charles."
Lorraín went on to praise Stewart as an actress and voice his faith in her upcoming portrayal of the people's princess.
"To do this well, you need something very important in film, which is mystery," he said of Stewart's casting. "Kristen can be many things, and she can be very mysterious and very fragile and ultimately very strong as well, which is what we need. The combination of those elements made me think of her. The way she responded to the script and how she is approaching the character, it’s very beautiful to see. I think she’s going to do something stunning and intriguing at the same time. We’re very happy to have her, she’s very committed. As a filmmaker, when you have someone who can hold such a weight, dramatic and narrative weight just with her eyes, then you have the strong lead who can deliver what we are looking for."
The news of Spencer also arrives months ahead of another onscreen portrayal of Diana: The Crown’s highly anticipated fourth season. Rising British actress Emma Corrin will portray the young Lady Spencer as the Netflix series includes the late royal's storyline for the first time.
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Bianca Betancourt is the Culture Editor at HarpersBAZAAR.com where she covers all things film, TV, music, and of course, Royal Family ongoings. When she's not writing she loves impulsively baking a batch of cookies, re-listening to the same early 2000s pop playlist and stalking Mariah Carey's Twitter feed.
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