Everyone knows that when you hire a famous person to star in a biopic of another famous person, the first thing we all want to know is how convincingly one has managed to turn into the other. So in unveiling this first tease of the upcoming biopic Diana, Entertainment One has smartly kept Naomi Watts's face away from the camera until about halfway through, and only given us a close-up in the final moment, intended to make us all gasp and say "Oh my god, that's Diana!"
And the effect pretty much works, though it's hard not to see Watts's face instead of Diana's within this brief teaser. The film, at one point called Caught in Flight, recently went through the sale gauntlet at Cannes and released its first official image, which relies largely on a mid-90s bouffant hairstyle to sell the similarity. You can check that one out below:
If you're dreading yet another film all about the royal family, don't worry-- Diana focuses on the part of the Princess of Wales's life after her divorce from Prince Charles, when she devoted her time to eradicating land mines and got into two romantic relationships. Lost's Naveen Andrews-- who you can glimpse very briefly in this teaser-- will play Pakistani heart surgeon Dr. Hasnat Khan, while Cas Anvar will play Dodi Fayed, who died along with Diana in the famous 1997 car crash. The many shots here of Diana being hounded by paparazzi, and of her apparently running away from them, suggest that this won't just be a biopic about all the amazing acts of the People's Princess, but about how her huge cultural profile changed her life… and at least contributed to her death.
As in any biopic, the whole thing hinges on the performance at its center, and I think we all long since learned that it's foolish to underestimate Naomi Watts. After all The Impossible was an also-ran in the Christmas release season here in the United States, and only grossed $19 million in its total North American run… but Watts's lead performance was so strong it earned her a Best Actress Oscar nomination anyway. (The film was a huge hit overseas, it's worth noting). There's no release yet planned for Diana, but I'd bet the crown jewels on seeing it in the thick of this year's awards season.