Ahead of the release of Spencer, Vogue breaks down everything revealed about the Diana, Princess of Wales biopic to date.
Who will star in ‘Spencer’?
After Emma Corrin’s immaculate turn in the fourth season of The Crown, Kristen Stewart will step into the role of Diana – with auteur Pablo Larraín directing her in the part. Among his previous critically acclaimed biopics? Both Jackie (2016) and Neruda (2016). On January 27, the studio released a first image of Stewart in character, looking eerily similar to the late royal, followed by a second portrait on March 25 as production shifted to the UK. As for the other members of the royal family, Jack Farthing – best known as villain George Warleggan in Poldark – will appear as Prince Charles, while Timothy Spall, The Shape of Water’s Sally Hawkins, and Sean Harris have been cast in yet-to-be-announced roles. Thomas Douglas will also take a turn as Earl John Spencer, Diana’s father, and newcomer Olga Hellsing will make her big-screen debut as the Duchess of York.
What is the plot of ‘Spencer’?
Spencer will take place over a single Christmas holiday at Sandringham in the ’90s, when Diana decided to end her marriage to Prince Charles – with Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight penning the script. “It’s very contained,” Larraín previously told Deadline of the story. “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. It’s Christmas Eve, Christmas and Boxing Day… We get to understand what it is she wants and what she will do.”
Larraín adds that Charles and Diana’s eventual divorce and the Princess’s tragic death will not form part of the story. “She died years after where our story is set and so we don’t deal with that,” he says. “It’s only three days of her life and in that very small amount of time, you’re able to get into a wider, bigger perspective of who she was. We all know her fate… and we don’t need to go there.”
Another key focus of the drama? Diana’s bond with her sons, Princes William and Harry. “The key is how she discovers during the process of the movie that what she really needs to do is be who she wants to be,” says Larraín. “And by that, it doesn’t mean she needs to be next to anyone, to be part of anything, but herself and her own children. Diana was many things, but chief among them, she was a great mother.”
When is the release date for ‘Spencer’?
Spencer will have its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival on September 3 and is scheduled to be released in cinemas on November 5. On August 25, as anticipation continues to build, the studio revealed a teaser poster for the film. It shows Stewart as Diana, dressed in an embellished white gown and looking distressed, with her head in her hands. It’s simple but effective, raising our expectations even further.
Originally published on Vogue.co.uk