Pablo Larraín’s “Spencer” has found its Prince Charles in “Poldark” star Jack Farthing. Production has also moved to the U.K.
The film, which unveiled a second image of star Kristen Stewart as Diana, focuses on one weekend in the life of the late princess, 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. Filming kicked off in Germany in January and will now move to the U.K.
Promotional materials for the film provide the following scene-setter: “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.”
The project has also revealed more cast members, including BAFTA nominee Timothy Spall (“Mr. Turner”), Academy Award nominee Sally Hawkins (“The Shape of Water”) and Sean Harris (“Mission: Impossible – Fallout”).
The film is expected to launch in fall 2021. Next year marks the 25th anniversary of Diana’s death. The princess, who was mother to Prince Harry and Prince William, died in a car accident following a paparazzi chase in Paris on Aug. 31, 1997.
The Stewart-fronted film comes at a time when interest in the royal family is surging around the world. The latest season of Left Bank’s “The Crown” introduced Princess Diana, played by newcomer Emma Corrin, in the fall, while Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s explosive CBS interview with Oprah Winfrey has also stirred up extensive debate about the Firm globally.
“Spencer” is written by Steven Knight (“Peaky Blinders”) and produced by Juan de Dios Larraín (“Jackie”) for Fabula Films, Jonas Dornbach and Janine Jackowski (“Toni Erdmann”) for Komplizen Film and BAFTA winner and Academy award nominee Paul Webster (“Anna Karenina”) for Shoebox Films.
Larraín’s creative team includes director of photography Claire Mathon (“Portrait of a Lady on Fire”), costume designer Jacqueline Durran (Oscar winner for “Little Women”), make up and hair designer Wakana Yoshihara (“Murder on the Orient Express”) and Guy Hendrix Dyas (Oscar nominee for “Passengers”) is the production designer. Composing the original score is Academy Award, BAFTA and Grammy Award nominee, Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood (“You Were Never Really Here”).
Executive producers are Tom Quinn, Jeff Deutchman and Christina Zisa for Neon and Michael Bloom, Maria Zuckerman and Ryan Heller for Topic Studios.
FilmNation Entertainment handled international sales with all key territories selling out of the Cannes virtual market last year.
The CAA Media Finance group and Endeavor Content sold to NEON and Topic Studios to distribute in the U.S. while STXinternational will distribute the film in the U.K., France, Italy and Benelux and DCM will distribute in Germany.
Other territories sold include: Australia/NZ (Roadshow), Latin America, Spain and Portugal (Sun), South Korea (Green Narae), Japan (Tohokushina), Scandinavia (Scanbox), Canada (Elevation), CIS/Baltics (Central Partnership), Eastern Europe (Forum), Middle East (Italia), Singapore (Shaw), Greece/Cyprus (Spentzos), Hong Kong (Golden Scene), India/Pakistan (Impact Films India), Israel (Lev), Turkey (FilmArti), South Africa (Empire), Taiwan (Moviecloud) and Thailand (M Pictures).
“Spencer” is supported by the German Federal Film Fund (DFFF), medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, German Federal Film Board (FFA), Film- und Medienstiftung NRW and HessenFilm und Medien.