Various TV and film deals have been made during the three-month lockdown, and it will be intriguing to see how some of these “pandemic projects” pan out. This is definitely one of the weirder situations to come out of lockdown: the guy who directed Natalie Portman in Jackie, Pablo Larrain, will be directing a movie about Princess Diana. And Larrain has just cast… Kristen Stewart. As Diana. What in the…
Pablo Larraín is set to direct and Kristen Stewart to play Princess Diana in Spencer, a drama that shapes up to be a hot package for the virtual Cannes Market. The Steven Knight-scripted film 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 drama takes place over three days, in one of her final Christmas holidays in the House of Windsor in their Sandringham estate in Norfolk, England. Production is expected to begin in early 2021.
While growing up in Chile didn’t make Larraín as obsessed as many were in Diana and Charles’ storybook wedding, or the endless coverage as their high profile union was frayed by the pressures of fame and the crown. But he grew up reading fairy tales literature, and sees this as the antithesis of that trope.
“We all grew up, at least I did in my generation, reading and understanding what a fairy tale is,” Larraín told Deadline. “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.”
Yeah, but Diana didn’t decide in one weekend to GTFO. It unfolded over years. She later said that their marriage was in tatters – like, irreparably damaged – just a few years in. Charles ran back to Camilla and by the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, Camilla was his flat-out established mistress. Charles and Diana lived almost entirely separate lives even before they formally separated. I’m just saying! Now, that being said, I enjoyed Jackie more than I thought I would, I liked Natalie Portman as Jackie Kennedy more than I thought I would. It will be very interesting to see Larrain try to get that kind of performance from Kristen Stewart! My God. I just want to hear K-Stew try to do Diana’s accent. Honestly though, as I was going through the photos… Kristen and Diana have similar faces, they really do. That’s why they both look great with short hair.
Photos courtesy of WENN, Avalon Red.