Kristen Stewart Cast as Princess Diana in Movie About Decision to End Marriage with Prince Charles
The film will take place over three days as Princess Diana realizes she needs to end her marriage to Prince Charles
The Twilight actress, 30, has been cast to play the late royal in director Pablo Larraín's drama Spencer, Deadline reports. The film, expected to begin production in early 2021, will take place over three days as Princess Diana, who died in a Paris car crash in 1997, realizes she needs to end her marriage to Prince Charles while spending Christmas at Queen Elizabeth's Sandringham estate in the 1990s.
"Kristin is one of the great actors around today. To do this well, you need something very important in film, which is mystery," the filmmaker behind Jackie said. "Kristin can be many things, and she can be very mysterious and very fragile an ultimately very strong as well, which is what we need. The combination of those elements made me think of her. 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."
"I've seen movies from Kristin that are so diverse it's incredible, showing different layers and her diversity and strength as an actress," he added. "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."
Growing up in Chile, Larraín was not hyper-aware of Princess Diana's rollercoaster relationship with Queen Elizabeth's son and heir to the throne.
"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," he said. "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."
"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," Larraín continued. "That’s why the movie is called Spencer, which is the family name she had before she met Charles."
Can't get enough of PEOPLE's Royals coverage? Sign up for our free Royals newsletter to get the latest updates on Kate Middleton, Meghan Markle and more!
Princess Diana's life will also be brought to Netflix in the near future when The Crown covers Prince Charles' romance with her in season 4.
"Princess Diana was an icon, and her effect on the world remains profound and inspiring," actress Emma Corrin, who will portray the royal in the series, said. "To be given the chance to explore her through Peter Morgan’s writing is the most exceptional opportunity, and I will strive to do her justice!"