If we’re simply talking about actors, 2011 was won by Jessica Chastain. Looking at her filmography from the past eleven months — The Tree of Life, The Help, The Debt, Texas Killing Fields, and Take Shelter — and what she has coming up in 2012 — The Wettest County in the World, Wilde Salome, Coriolanus, Mama, and Terrence Malick‘s next film — her sudden and, most importantly, deserved rise to success is impossible to deny. (She has a major role alongside Tom Cruise in 2013’s Horizons, to boot.)
Many of the projects listed above could be considered “prestigious,” and this latest casting is no exception. TOH has learned that she’ll be playing Princess Diana in Caught in Flight, an upcoming film to be directed by Downfall helmer Oliver Hirschbiegel. This is being sold at the American Film Market right now, and is said to follow “a secret affair between the late princess and a heart surgeon, Dr. Hasnat Khan, who was said to be the love of her life.”
Ecosse Films, who were recently behind Nowhere Boy and Brideshead Revisited, are producing; Embankment Films is handling sales. Pre-production is scheduled to kick off in March, and shooting will be conducted in “Pakistan, Angola, the South of France and Paris, where the late princess died in a fatal paparazzi car chase.”
Focusing on a potentially unfavorable part of the life of someone as beloved as Diana could generate some controversy, and reports indicate that this will be the case with Steven Jeffreys‘ script. After all, the story depicts her as “a damaged person who stalks the doctor after he ends the affair,” and I can’t imagine that not ruffling a few feathers. Shouldn’t be a problem for myself, as I always prefer a truthful depiction of an esteemed person over a whitewashed representation; I suspect many feel the same way.
And though she may not look exactly like the subject, Chastain‘s involvement instantly generates my interest. It’s a very strong pick — not only can her performances carry the natural grace so often associated with Diana, but there’s also the raw talent that a big figure such as her would demand in a portrayal. Hirschbiegel, meanwhile, has already done the semi-biopic thing right. The two of them being on board means that the ingredients are here for something affecting, so I’m hoping that everything can just properly coalesce.
Does Chastain sound like the right person to play Princess Diana?
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