When it was revealed that Kristen Stewart had been cast as Princess Diana in new movie Spencer, people were understandably excited. And now that the first photo of Stewart in costume has been released, it seems clear that the actress has undergone a major transformation for the role.
Here’s everything we know so far about Spencer.
Spencer explores one weekend in Princess Diana’s life.
Spencer follows Diana “as she spends the Christmas holiday with the royal family at the Sandringham estate in Norfolk, and decides to leave her marriage to Prince Charles.” The movie is set in December 1991, a year before Charles and Diana announced their separation to the world. As the press release explains, “The Prince and Princess of Wales’s marriage has long since grown cold. Though rumours of affairs and a divorce abound, peace is ordained for the Christmas festivities at Sandringham Estate.”
Check out the logline below.
December, 1991: The Prince and Princess of Wales’ marriage has long since grown cold. Though rumours of affairs and a divorce abound, peace is ordained for the Christmas festivities at Sandringham Estate. There’s eating and drinking, shooting and hunting. Diana knows the game. This year, things will be a whole lot different.
Spencer will be released in fall 2021.
Ahead of the 25th anniversary of Princess Diana’s death, Spencer is set for a November 5, 2021 release, according to Variety. Diana tragically passed away in 1997 in a car crash, and 2022 will mark 25 years since the world lost the princess. Spencer will pay tribute to the icon. The film’s fall release will allow the movie to be considered for the upcoming awards season.
But first, it’s heading to the Venice Film Festival.
Variety reported that Spencer, directed by Pablo Larraín, will make its world premiere in competition at the Venice Film Festival. Though its exact screening date has not yet been revealed, the annual event is taking place from September 1 to 11 this year.
Filming is taking place in the United Kingdom and Germany.
With the COVID-19 pandemic ongoing, filming is bound to be logistically challenging on any film or TV project. However, principal photography has started on Spencer, with Stewart being photographed at the Schlosshotel Kronberg in Germany, which is set to double as Sandringham.
In the paparazzi snap taken on site, Stewart sports Princess Diana’s iconic blonde hairstyle.
The production is currently in its final stages of filming in the United Kingdom, Neon, the company distributing Spencer, announced on March 25.
A star-studded cast brings Princess Diana’s story to life.
While Stewart will play the Princess of Wales, she will be joined by BAFTA Award nominee Timothy Spall, Academy Award nominee Sally Hawkins, and Sean Harris (Mission: Impossible – Fallout).
Pablo Larraín, responsible for Jackie and Neruda, is on directing duties, and the script has been penned by Steven Knight, of Locke, Peaky Blinders, and Dirty Pretty Things fame. The production team also includes costume designer Jacqueline Durran (Little Women), makeup and hair designer Wakana Yoshihara (Murder on the Orient Express), and Radiohead‘s Jonny Greenwood (Phantom Thread), who is composing the original score.
Prince Charles has been cast.
English actor Jack Farthing will star opposite Stewart as Princess Diana’s first husband, Prince Charles. He’s best known for his role as George Warleggan in the series Poldark and Freddie Threepwood in Blandings. He was also in the 2019 film Official Secrets, starring Keira Knightley.
Kristen Stewart is immersed in the role.
In a press release for the movie, Stewart revealed, “Spencer is a dive inside an emotional imagining of who Diana was at a pivotal turning point in her life. 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.”
Stewart addressed the forthcoming movie during an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live! in November 2020 and said, “It’s hard not to feel protective over [Princess Diana]. She was so young … everyone’s perspective is different, and there’s no way to get everything right … what is fact in relation to personal experience.”
The Twilight actress explained, “I was really young when she passed away. … [Spencer] takes place over three days, and it’s this really poetic, internal imagining of what that might have felt like, rather than giving new information.”
Plus, the actress has been hitting the books in preparation for the role. In October, Stewart told InStyle, “In terms of research, I’ve gotten through two and a half biographies, and I’m finishing all the material before I actually go make the movie,” she revealed. “It’s one of the saddest stories to exist ever, and I don’t want to just play Diana—I want to know her implicitly. I haven’t been this excited about playing a part, by the way, in so long.”
Spencer will involve many wigs.
While appearing on Jimmy Kimmel Live! in November 2020, Stewart was asked whether she would be wearing a wig to play Princess Diana. “She has very architectural hair,” Stewart told the host, “so we’re going to build it … I don’t think I can do it solely with my own hair.”
Kristen Stewart is nervous about her accent.
On perfecting Diana’s unforgettable voice, the actress told InStyle, “The accent is intimidating as all hell because people know that voice, and it’s so, so distinct and particular. I’m working on it now and already have my dialect coach.”
The first official photo shows that Kristen Stewart is ready for the role.
The first photo from set reveals Stewart’s incredible transformation into the princess.
Another image shows Stewart’s Diana wearing a replica of her engagement ring.
The film’s official poster shows Kristen Stewart portraying a devastated Princess Diana.
Kristen Stewart’s latest transformation into Princess Diana will make you do a double take. In new official artwork for Spencer, Stewart is seen in character as the late Princess of Wales, clad in a glamorous ballgown and on her knees, presumably in tears over the state of her marriage to Prince Charles and her role within the royal family.
“Every fairy tale ends. Kristen Stewart is Diana Spencer. A glimpse at Pablo Larraín’s SPENCER. In Theaters Nov. 5,” read a social media post from the production company debuting the new poster.
The teaser gives a brief glimpse at Stewart’s take on Diana.
Neon and Topic Studios have released the teaser trailer for Spencer, offering a first look at Stewart’s interpretation of the late Princess of Wales, as well as a glimpse of the cast playing the rest of the royal family.
Toward the end of the teaser, we also hear Stewart’s take on Diana’s unforgettable accent. She sits with costar Sally Hawkins, who says, “They know everything,” to which Stewart replies simply in the princess’s iconic lilt, “They don’t.”
Stewart agreed to the film before even reading the script.
Speaking at the Toronto International Film Festival, Stewart revealed that she agreed to portray the late Princess of Wales before even reading a word of Steven Knight’s script.
“He called me on the phone. At first I hadn’t read the script yet, and he proposed this idea and said he was doing this sort of weird tone poem about Diana, and asked whether or not I would be interested in tackling the subject at all, before he sent the script,” Stewart said during a panel, per IndieWire. “Kind of without thinking, very irresponsibly, I said ‘Yes, absolutely.'”
She continued, “In the moment right before I was going to say, in a word, yes or no, I was like ‘Who are you if you don’t say yes?'”
Watch this space for further updates.
This article originally appeared on Harper’s BAZAAR US.