The Pablo Larraín-directed movie takes place over three days as Diana comes to the realization that she wants to leave Charles and the British royal family while spending Christmas at Sandringham Estate. Production is expected to begin in early 2021.
“We all grew up, at least I did in my generation, reading and understanding what a fairy tale is,” the filmmaker, 43, told the website on Wednesday, June 17. “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.”
Larraín explained that he chose the Twilight star, 30, to play the Princess of Wales because she “can be many things, and she can be very mysterious and very fragile and ultimately very strong as well, which is what we need.” He added, “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.”
The director told Deadline that he chose the title Spencer after “the family name [Diana] had before she met Charles.” He noted that the timeline of the film is “not specific,” but it is set around 1992 and gives “a wider, bigger perspective of who she was.”
The People’s Princess, who died at age 36 in a 1997 car crash, was married to the Prince of Wales from 1981 to 1996. Charles, now 71, later rekindled his romance with his ex Duchess Camilla, whom he wed in 2005.
After the news broke on Wednesday, social media users flooded Twitter with their opinions on Stewart’s casting. Many people were up in arms over the choice, with one tweeting, “UM you could find a British actress,” and another joking, “Sounds great, what could possibly go wrong?”
However, some fans were quick to rush to the actress’ defense. “Before everyone starts ‘she can’t act’ she can act. She’s wonderful. I’m not here to fight w anyone I’m just here to post a positive comment for those ppl who’ve seen Kristen in more than Twilight or Snowwhite can appreciate/like this tweet,” one user wrote.
Another fan echoed, “I think she’s [sic] actually do a good job as long as the movie is actually good.”
Naomi Watts previously portrayed the late princess in the 2013 biopic Diana.
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