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Personal Shopper star Kristen Stewart will play the beloved British Princess Diana (Spencer) in the biopic Spencer from Pablo Larrain, who directed the critically acclaimed 2016 Natalie Portman starrer Jackie.
The story will follow Larrain's style of biopic as in Jackie and Neruda (2016), which tends to focus on a point in time rather than a sweeping survey of the subject's life. While Jackie depicted the first lady as she grappled with her husband's assassination while dealing with affairs of state, Spencer will examine a short time in Diana's life over the Christmas holidays when she considers leaving her marriage to Prince Charles, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
In 2015, Stewart won the Cesar (the French equivalent of the Oscar) for her work opposite Juliette Binoche in Olivier Assayas's Clouds of Sils Maria (2014). She also received critical acclaim for her lead role in Assayas's 2016 modern ghost story Personal Shopper.
Taking on the role of Princess Diana is the third time Stewart has starred in a biopic. She played the queer literary sensation Savannah Knoop opposite Laura Dern in JT Leroy (2018). In Seberg, released earlier this year, Stewart played actress Jean Seberg, whose career took off when she starred in the French New Wave classic Breathless. Later in life she became a target of the FBI for her work with the Black Panthers.
In addition to the recent biopics she's appeared in, Stewart wrapped filming of Clea DuVall's queer rom-com and Christmas movie Happiest Season, in which Stewart's character and her girlfriend, played by Mackenzie Davis, go home for the holidays.
Production on Spencer, which sees Princess Diana at the Sandringham Estate with the royal family while she contemplates divorce, will begin in early 2021, according to THR. The script for Spencer is penned by Steven Knight, who wrote the screenplays for David Cronenberg's Eastern Promises and Stephen Frears's Dirty Pretty Things.
Larrain and his brother Juan de Dios Larrain, who will produce Spencer, also produced Sebastian Lelio's Oscar-winning 2017 film A Fantastic Woman, which starred trans actress Daniela Vega.
CAA Media Finance and FilmNation Entertainment are behind the project.