All the details on Spencer: the upcoming Princess Diana film

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  • American actor Kristen Stewart has signed to play the iconic princess in a new period drama

    And now, some good news: a new Princess Diana film is coming and it’s set to detail a weekend in the iconic royal’s life – in particular, when Diana decided that her marriage to Prince Charles wasn’t making her happy.

    Perhaps a little unexpectedly, former Twilight actress Kristen Stewart, 30, has signed to play Diana in the period drama about her life in the early 1990s.

    Here is everything to expect from the upcoming movie about the much-loved princess.

    Princess Diana

    Kristen Stewart is the only cast member confirmed to star in Spencer (Getty Images)

    What’s the plot?

    The story is said to take place over three days during one of Diana’s final Christmases at the Queen’s Sandringham estate in Norfolk. It was during this weekend in 1992 when Diana (née Diana Spencer) decided to divorce her husband, Prince Charles, and decided that she didn’t want to be the future Queen.

    The film’s director Pablo Larraín revealed the film will not delve into Diana’s tragic death, but instead focus on her marriage to Charles and the love she had for her children, Prince William and Prince Harry.

    He expanded, ‘Diana is such a powerful icon, where millions and millions of people, not just women, but many people around the world felt empathy toward her in her life.’

    ‘We decided to get into a story about identity, and around how a woman decides somehow, not to be the queen. She’s a woman who, in the journey of the movie, decides and realises that she wants to be the woman she was before she met Charles.’

    Princess Diana

    ‘She realises that she wants to be the woman she was before she met Charles’ (Getty Images)

    What is Princess Diana’s real-life story?

    Charles and Diana were married from July 29, 1981 to August 28, 1996, and there has been endless speculation that their union was an unhappy one.

    In 2018, veteran royal reporter Robert Jobson claimed the Prince wanted to pull out of his wedding to Diana when he realised how ‘incompatible’ the pair were.

    Five years into the marriage, the couple’s incompatibility and age difference of almost 13 years became visible and damaging. Charles resumed his relationship with his former girlfriend Camilla Parker Bowles.

    At the age of just 36, Diana died in the early hours of 31 August 1997, after being injured in a car crash in Paris. Her partner at the time, Dodi Fayed, and their driver, Henri Paul, were pronounced dead at the scene.

    Princess Diana

    The royals wed on 29 July 1981 in London, England (Getty Images)

    Who else is cast in the film?

    So far, Kristen Stewart is the only cast member confirmed to star in Spencer. As the film takes place at Sandringham, it’s likely other characters will include various members of the royal family, including Prince Charles.

    The American star has been praised by the film’s director Pablo. He told entertainment news site Deadline: ‘Kristen 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 went on to say, ‘I’ve seen movies from Kristen that are so diverse it’s incredible, showing different layers and her diversity and strength as an actress. 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.’

    What about the production team?

    Director and producer Pablo has directed seven feature films and co-directed one television series, including Academy Award-nominated films No and Jackie.

    ‘I’ve always been intrigued and fascinated by the Royal Family and how things are in that culture, which we don’t have where I come from,” the Chilean director told Deadline.

    ‘It’s about finding herself, about understanding that possibly the most important thing for her is to be well, and to be with herself and by herself. That’s why the movie is called Spencer, which is the family name she had before she met Charles.’

    Meanwhile British screenwriter Steven Knight, the creator of Peaky Blinders, is penning the script.

    Princess Diana

    Princess Diana, Princess of Wales, with her sons Prince William and Prince Harry in 1995 (Getty Images)

    Who else has played Princess Diana?

    Most recently, Emma Corrin was cast as Diana in the fourth season of The Crown in 2019 (Netflix has not yet released this season of the show).

    Oscar-nominated actress Naomi Watts played the role in the 2013 drama Diana, that focused on the last two years of her life, and Lesley Harcourt played the princess in the film: William & Catherine in 2011.

    Prior, Genevieve O’Reilly starred in the docu-drama Diana: Last Days Of A Princess in 2007.

    When is Spencer released?

    Production is expected to begin in early 2021, but it’s not yet known when the film will be released. Realistically, we’re unlikely to see it hitting our screens until 2022.

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