Here's everything we know about Spencer, the Princess Diana biopic starring Kristen Stewart

By Alex Nelson
Thursday, 18th June 2020, 11:35 am
Updated Thursday, 18th June 2020, 11:35 am
(Photo: Theo Wargo/Getty Images)
(Photo: Theo Wargo/Getty Images)

Kristen Stewart is set so play Princess Diana in a new film.

Spencer will tell the story of The People’s Princess’ break-up from Prince Charles, with the Twilight actress taking on the role of the royal.

According to Deadline, the movie will tell the story of a weekend at the royal family’s Sandringham estate in the run-up to Christmas.

Set over three days, it will chart Diana’s realisation that her marriage to Prince Charles wasn’t working, and her need to change course from a path that put her in line to one day be queen.

Spencer won’t deal with Diana’s tragic death years later, but in zooming in on one particularly emotionally turbulent moment in her life, the film hopes to present a “story about identity.”

“Kristen is one of the great actors around today,” the film's director told Deadline. “To do this well, you need something very important in film, which is mystery.

“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.”

The script is being written by British screenwriter Steven Knight, perhaps best known for his work on Peaky Blinders.

(Photos: Getty Images)

The film will be directed by Chilean director Pablo Larraín, who has already proven his female-centred biographical drama chops with Jackie, the 2016 Natalie Portman-starring account of Jackie Kennedy’s days as First Lady, and her life following the assassination of her husband.

The film was a critical success, receiving three Academy Award nominations, including Best Actress for Portman’s portrayal.

From Santiago to a Norfolk stately home isn’t the most obvious of journeys though, so just why was Larraín drawn to the project? He says it’s the story’s eschewing of typical ‘fairy tale’ tropes.

“We all grew up… 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.

“We want to make a movie that goes wide, connects with a worldwide audience that is interested in such a fascinating life.”

Chilean director Pablo Larraín previously directed 2016's Jackie, the Natalie Portman-starring account of Jackie Kennedy’s life following the assassination of her husband (Photo: Andreas Rentz/Getty Images)

“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.

“It’s very contained, set over a few days in Sandringham. They spent Christmas there for many years and that’s where we set the movie in the early ‘90s, around 1992, we’re not specific.”

At the time of writing, no other names have been attached to star in Spencer.

No release date has yet been given for the film.

Spencer is not expected to enter production until early 2021, so it could be another 18 months at least until we see it on the big screen.