DISTRIB/RELEASE DATE: Miramax/Oct. 6
STORYLINE: Princess Diana has just been killed in Paris, and while the British public mourns, the royals act according to protocol — and without much emotion. Prime Minister Tony Blair tries to convince them that extraordinary steps need to be taken in light of Diana’s popularity.
ABOUT THE SCRIPT: “There’s absolutely nothing of what I wrote that can be substantiated. I imagined the conflict, and I guess it stands to reason. What I wrote was a drama of the imagination.”
BIGGEST CHALLENGE: “You could elect (to do) what Richard Curtis did with Hugh Grant (in “Love Actually”) and send the prime minister into cuckoo land, or have this ring true and absolutely be believable. But it has to make sense, and this isn’t cartoons or impressions of these people.”
BREAKTHROUGH IDEA: “Because of the success of ‘The Deal’ (Morgan’s TV screenplay that involves Tony Blair and, as with “The Queen,” was directed by Stephen Frears), people wanted me to take another look at another piece of contemporary English history. I sort of had Blair’s voice, and to the English, Blair and the queen speak very differently — different syntax, vocabulary. I was really making sure I was using the right words.”
CHOICE LINES: Morgan has two favorites: first, the queen walking up the stairs at Buckingham Palace and saying through closed doors, “Mummy?”; second, Prince Philip watching TV on the public’s reaction to Diana’s death: “Look, they’re sleeping in the street and pulling out their hair, and they think we’re mad.”