Kristen Stewart has signed on to play Princess Diana in the indie drama Spencer. Pablo Larrain is helming the film, and he already has experience directing projects about political women, having directed Jackie back in 2016. That film led to an Oscar nomination for Natalie Portman; could the same be on the cards for Stewart?
Steven Knight has written the script, which reportedly takes place over three days in December in the early 90s, where Diana decided that her marriage to Prince Charles wasn’t working and traveled to the House of Windsor in their Sandringham estate in Norfolk to think things over.
Larrain explained to Deadline that he saw Diana’s story as an inverted fairy tale.
“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”.
Larrain also explained that the movie is called Spencer because that was Diana’s family name before she met Charles. As for Stewart’s casting, he said:
“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”.
Stewart has her doubters – usually still harbouring resentment from the Twilight films – but she’s developed into one of her generation’s best actors.
Not only that, but she’s been eclectic in her role choices, jumping from indies like Certain Women and Personal Shopper, to biographies JT LeRoy and Seberg, to studio films such as Charlie’s Angels and Underwater.
While at first glance the idea of seeing her play Princess Diana doesn’t quite compute, she’ll probably end up knocking it out of the park with a brilliant performance. Production on the film is expected to begin early next year. FilmNation Entertainment will represent international rights and introduce the package to buyers at the upcoming virtual Cannes market.