Neon has released the first image of Kristen Stewart in the role of Princess Diana in the eagerly anticipated new Pablo Larraín film Spencer.
The film, which is built around a script by a screenplay produced by the Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight, focuses predominantly on one specific weekend in the 1990s and details the moment when Princess Diana decided to separate from Prince Charles.
With a lot of excitement around the project, Larrain, the Chilean director who shot to fame when he was nominated for the Academy Award for his two past films No and Jackie, is expected to begin production on the new picture in early 2021. “We all grew up, at least I did in my generation, reading and understanding what a fairy tale is,” Larraín said to Deadline of the new film. “Usually, the prince comes and finds the princess, invites her to become his wife and eventually she becomes queen.”
Larrain added: “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… that is the heart of the movie.”
Discussing the decision to cast Stewart in the lead, the director explained: “I think she’s going to do something stunning and intriguing at the same time,” he said, before adding: “She is this force of nature.”
The official synopsis for Spencer, provided by Neon, reads: “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.”
Now, as the production company release the first look at Steward in the role, the actor commented: “Spencer is a dive inside an emotional imagining of who Diana was at a pivotal turning point in her life,” Stewart said. “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.”
Following the announcement, producers Jonas Dornbach, Janine Jackowski, Juan de Dios Larraín, Paul Webster and Pablo Larraín said in a joint statement: “We are extremely grateful for the support of our distributors worldwide, our partners and funders who have shown tremendous commitment to us in these extraordinary times. With Kristen Stewart, Steven Knight and the rest of our fantastic team both in front and behind the camera, we are bringing ‘Spencer’ to the world. It is an independently produced film made for the big screen about an iconic woman’s own declaration of independence. We couldn’t be more excited.”
CAA Media Finance have been confirmed as the backers of the project while FilmNation Entertainment represents the international rights. It is thought that and more financial backers of the film will be sourced through the Cannes market.