The film, set to premiere at the Venice film festival, takes a look at a weekend in the life of Diana from Jackie director Pablo Larraín
Kristen Stewart in Spencer. Photograph: STX Films
The Guardian-Benjamin Lee
The first trailer for Spencer, the much-anticipated Diana, Princess of Wales drama, has been unveiled just days before its premiere at the Venice film festival.
The film, which stars Kristen Stewart, shows us just three days over the Christmas period at Sandgringham, where Diana chose to end her marriage to Charles. It’s directed by Pablo Larraín, the Chilean director who previously ushered Natalie Portman to a best actress nomination for his acclaimed drama Jackie, about the life of Jackie Kennedy after the assassination of her husband.
“It’s hard not to feel protective over her,” Stewart said about Diana back in 2020. “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 film also stars Sally Hawkins, Timothy Spall and Poldark villain Jack Farthing as Charles.
Larraín, whose credits also include Neruda and most recently episodes of the Apple TV+ horror series Lisey’s Story, spoke to Vulture about his concerns that an audience might be wrong-footed by the movie.
“I think some people could misunderstand it,” he said. “Before they go to see a movie like Spencer, they might say, ‘We’re going to really understand who this person was.’ No! Wrong number! Wrong movie! We don’t do that! We’re just trying to work with whatever that person was and create a fable out of it. That’s what I’m looking for. We’ll see if it works.”
Spencer arrives amid a glut of other projects about Diana, including a Broadway musical that opens in November and the new season of The Crown which will feature Elizabeth Debicki taking the role over from Emma Corrin, who was recently nominated for an Emmy after winning a Golden Globe.
Stewart’s performance is seen as an early contender for awards recognition which would place her alongside other bets including Lady Gaga for her role in House of Gucci and Nicole Kidman in Being the Ricardos.
The film will premiere in competition next month at the Venice film festival alongside Jane Campion’s The Power of the Dog and Maggie Gyllenhaal’s The Lost Daughter. It will open in cinemas in November.