Fans got their first glimpse at Kristen Stewart as Princess Diana on Wednesday. Stewart will play the role in the upcoming movie Spencer, and producers released their first teaser image, showing Stewart in a red coat, black hat and a black veil. Many fans were floored by the resemblance.
Production company NEON released the picture of Stewart in character on Wednesday morning, instantly making waves on Twitter. According to a report by Variety, Spencer is slated for release in the fall of 2021, coming just before the 25th anniversary of Princess Diana's death in the summer of 2022. The movie is written by Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight and directed by Pablo Larrain, and filming is just now getting underway. It is filming in Germany and the U.K.
Kristen Stewart is Diana, Princess of Wales, in Pablo Larraín’s SPENCER. pic.twitter.com/ldpNLOGhOt— NEON (@neonrated) January 27, 2021
Spencer will reportedly tell the story of one weekend Princess Diana spent with the Royal family at their Sandringham estate in Norfolk. It was the Christmas holiday, and it was a turning point that convinced Diana to leave her marriage to Prince Charles.
In real life, divorce was already very much on the table for the royal couple by the Christmas of 1995, and the negotiations were settled in February of 1996. It is not clear if the movie is set earlier than that, or if it takes creative liberties with the timeline.
According to Variety, the cast also includes Timothy Spall, Sally Hawkins and Sean Harris, but their roles have not yet been specified or listed on the movie's IMDb page. A long list of studios and producers are supporting this film, including the German Federal Film Fund and the German Federal Film Board. So far, the U.K. cultural secretary Oliver Dowd has not commented on the production, as he did on Netflix's The Crown.
Knight, for his part, told Variety that he has not watched The Crown, fearing it would influence his depiction of the royal family. He said: "Working on the script has been a pleasure. I think it's a different perspective on a story that we don't all know well, but we all feel we now are a part of it. And I just found the whole thing fascinating. To talk to people who knew her and to try and get a view of this person — who this person really was — who was an ordinary person in extraordinary situations is the way I think of her."
"Spencer is a dive inside an emotional imagining of who Diana was at a pivotal turning point in her life," Stewart added in a statement on Wednesday. "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."