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Diana, Princess of Wales is an iconic figure of the ‘80s and ‘90s who has been the subject of many films and documentaries over the years (including a 2013 portrayal by Naomi Watts) due to the intrigue the mother of Prince William and Harry had on history. Following director Pablo Larraín’s critically-acclaimed exploration of of John F. Kennedy’s wife with 2016's Jackie, the filmmaker will be making a Princess Diana film with Kristen Stewart.
Kristen is one of the great actors around today. To do this well, you need something very important in film, which is mystery. 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 movie will be titled Spencer in reference to Princess Diana’s maiden name, and it will take place over three days in the early ‘90s when she was away for the holidays in the House of Windsor, Sandringham Estate in Norfolk, England and decided her marriage to Charles was no longer working. Pablo Larraín explained his decision to make a film about Diana thusly:
Usually, the prince comes and finds the princess, invites her to become his wife and eventually she becomes queen. That is the fairy tale. 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. How and why do you decide to do that? It’s a great universal story that can reach millions and millions of people, and that’s what we want to do. We want to make a movie that goes wide, connects with a worldwide audience that is interested in such a fascinating life.
Spencer was written by Steven Knight, who wrote 2019’s Serenity, 2013’s Tom Hardy-led Locke and the 2002 Oscar-nominated script Dirty Pretty Things. The movie is expected to begin production in early 2021. Pablo Larraín gushed about the way Kristen Stewart has been responding to the script, her approach to the character and called her a “force of nature.”
Kristen Stewart is coming off portraying French New Wave icon Jean Seberg in Benedict Andrews’ Seberg. The recent release was not warmly received, with a 34% on Rotten Tomatoes, but criticisms were directed more toward the content than Stewart’s performance. The actress has had a series of bummers recently. Her movies Charlie’s Angels and Underwater both suffered low box office performance and so-so reviews.
Playing Princess Diana could give Kristen Stewart a real chance to show off her talents for a big audience and compete during awards season. Spencer will not specifically deal with the infamous death of Diana, but rather provide a snapshot of her life in a pivotal moment and the “ferocious” love she had for her sons.
There's no word as to whether Prince William and Harry have been clued into Kristen Stewart’s new role, but the fact that she is not British could play a role in subsequent backlash. The actress does have a sense of what it's like to be constantly pursued by paparazzi and the press. Taking a plunge into the dark side of fame could be just perfect for the Twilight alum.
Stay tuned here on CinemaBlend for more updates on what movies are coming next.