Princess Diana is getting yet another depiction, this time by none other than Kristen Stewart. For Pablo Larrain's Spencer, the film will see Stewart play Diana on a specific weekend over Christmas where she has a personal reckoning with herself and subsequently, her marriage. Here's everything we know about the upcoming film so far.
The plot of Spencer
Principal photography has begun on director Pablo Larrain’s film Spencer, which focuses on one weekend over the Christmas period with the Royal Family when Diana decides to leave her marriage. With production finally beginning for a late 2021 release, a snippet of the actress dressed in the most luxurious coat we've seen since the inauguration - which happens to be an archival piece from the CHANEL Fall-Winter 1988/89 Ready-to-Wear collection - peering wistfully out a window has caused a huge stir on the internet this morning.
She looks uncanny and polished in a way that is far from her last role in Happiest Season. There is an eerily lonely energy to the image Neon posted via Twitter, which feels apt given the implied circumstances. “December 1991: The Prince and Princess of Wales’ marriage has long since grown cold. Though rumours of affairs and a divorce abound, peace is ordained for the Christmas festivities at Sandringham Estate. There’s eating and drinking, shooting and hunting. Diana knows the game. This year, things will be a whole lot different.” a synopsis in a press release reads.
The film is written by Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight, and filming will reportedly take place in Germany and the U.K.
“‘Spencer is a dive inside an emotional imagining of who Diana was at a pivotal turning point in her life,” said Stewart on the film. “It is a physical assertion of the sum of her parts, which starts with her given name: Spencer. It is a harrowing effort for her to return to herself, as Diana strives to hold onto what the name Spencer means to her.”
Accompanying Stewart on set will be Jack Farthing as Prince Charles, alongside Timothy Spall, Sally Hawkins, and Sean Harris in undisclosed roles. Olga Hellsing will reportedly play Sarah Ferguson, the former Duchess of York, while Thomas Douglas will play Diana’s father, Earl John Spencer. But who will play Lizzy? We're yet to find out.
With Larraín behind the camera and Knight on the script the script, Portrait of a Lady on Fire cinematographer Claire Mathon will join the duo as Director of Photography. Jacqueline Durran is on board as costume designer, Wakana Yoshihara will lead makeup and hair design, while production designer Guy Hendrix Dyas will work on the set, and Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood will compose an original score.
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,” Chilean-born Larraín told Deadline in June 2020. “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 realizes that she wants to be the woman she was before she met Charles.”
The release date
Spencer is set to premiere on September 1, 2021 at Venice Film Festival. Sadly for those of us who won't be attending, the film is set for a cinema release date in 2022, to mark the 25th anniversary of the Princess of Wales's death.
Here are some of our first looks at Kristen Stewart as Princess Diana.
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Considering production looks to only just be unveiling, there are no trailers as yet, but we're looking forward to an update later into the year.