Deadline is reporting that Kristen Stewart (Seberg, Underwater, Still Alice) is set to portray Princess Diana in the upcoming drama Spencer, directed by Pablo Larraín (Jackie, Neruda, Lisey’s Story). Production will likely begin in early 2021 and the project is expected to be a hot package for the virtual Cannes Market.
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Written by Steven Knight (Eastern Promises, Peaky Blinders, Locke), Spencer covers a critical weekend in the early ’90s when Diana decided her marriage to Prince Charles wasn’t working and that she needed to veer from a path that put her in line to one day be queen. The film takes place over three days, in one of her final Christmas holidays in the House of Windsor in their Sandringham estate in Norfolk, England.
“We all grew up, at least I did in my generation, reading and understanding what a fairy tale is,” Larraín said. “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.”
The movie won’t deal with Princess Diana’s tragic death after she left that palace life, but will examine the fraying of the relationship with her husband and her ferocious love for her sons Prince William and Prince Henry.
“Kristen is one of the great actors around today,” Larraín continued. “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 an 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. She is this force of nature.
“I’ve seen movies from Kristen that are so diverse it’s incredible, showing different layers and her diversity and strength as an actress,” he added. “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.”
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Spencer will be produced by Larraín along with partner Juan de Dios, Jonas Dornbach, Janine Jackowski, and Paul Webster.
(Photo by Kimberly White/Getty Images)