Twilight and Charlie’s Angels star Kristen Stewart is set to get regal. She’ll be playing Princess Diana in new indie drama Spencer, written by Steven Knight and directed by Jackie‘s Pablo Larrain. This won’t be a traditional biopic though, instead zeroing in on three key days in the early 90s. These come at the height of Diana’s marital difficulties with Prince Charles and will see her figuring out whether to divorce the future King of England.
Deadline broke the news of the project, quoting Larrain who revealed his take on her tragic story:
“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. 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.”
He went on to talk about Kristen Stewart’s casting and why he thinks she’s going to be great in the role, saying:
“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 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.”
But Kristen Stewart may have some Diana competition around the time of the film’s release. The next season of The Crown is also set to cover the marriage of Charles and Diana, with relative unknown Emma Corrin stepping into those iconic outfits. The two projects cover different parts of her life, so as yet there’s no overlap. But come the fifth season of The Crown, we might start to see some very familiar scenes.
And then, lurking in the background, is the notoriously terrible 2013 movie Diana, which sits at 8% on the Tomatometer. Naomi Watts is a great actress, but this is not her finest hour, with the film derided for its atrocious script, cheesy action and just generally being very dull. Let’s hope Spencer has been paying attention to it so it knows what not to do.