Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
New ‘Ant-Man’ Photos; Movie May Include More Marvel Cinematic Universe Characters New ‘Ant-Man’ Photos; Movie May Include More Marvel Cinematic Universe Characters Over 30 New 'Jurassic World' Photos, Plus 2 New Clips & Lots Of New TV Spots Over 30 New 'Jurassic World' Photos, Plus 2 New Clips & Lots Of New TV Spots Matt Damon Goes Interstellar Again In New Pics From Ridley Scott's 'The Martian' Matt Damon Goes Interstellar Again In New Pics From Ridley Scott's 'The Martian' First Look: Matt Damon As An Astronaut In Ridley Scott’s ‘The Martian’ First Look: Matt Damon As An Astronaut In Ridley Scott’s ‘The Martian’ Cannes Review: Justin Kurzel's 'Macbeth' Starring Michael Fassbender & Marion Cotillard Cannes Review: Justin Kurzel's 'Macbeth' Starring Michael Fassbender & Marion Cotillard Watch: Incredible Vintage Footage Of Audience Reactions To 'The Exorcist' In 1973 Watch: Incredible Vintage Footage Of Audience Reactions To 'The Exorcist' In 1973 Cannes Review: Gaspar Noé's Hardcore And Softhearted 'Love' Cannes Review: Gaspar Noé's Hardcore And Softhearted 'Love' Here's The Character Backstory For Doof aka Guitar Flamethrower Dude In 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Here's The Character Backstory For Doof aka Guitar Flamethrower Dude In 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Cannes Review: Hou Hsiao-Hsien's 'The Assassin' Is An Epic Visual Poem Cannes Review: Hou Hsiao-Hsien's 'The Assassin' Is An Epic Visual Poem The 10 Most Controversial Cannes Films Ever The 10 Most Controversial Cannes Films Ever Roger Deakins To Shoot Denis Villeneuve's 'Blade Runner' Sequel Roger Deakins To Shoot Denis Villeneuve's 'Blade Runner' Sequel More NSFW Posters For Gaspar Noe's 3D 'Love' Plus The Official Director's Statement More NSFW Posters For Gaspar Noe's 3D 'Love' Plus The Official Director's Statement Cannes: Watch A Three Way Makeout In The First Clip From Gaspar Noe’s 3D ‘Love’ Plus New NSFW Image Cannes: Watch A Three Way Makeout In The First Clip From Gaspar Noe’s 3D ‘Love’ Plus New NSFW Image Simon Pegg Worries That Adults Obsessed With Comics & Sci-Fi Have Become "Infantilized By Our Own Taste" Simon Pegg Worries That Adults Obsessed With Comics & Sci-Fi Have Become "Infantilized By Our Own Taste" George Miller Says 'Interstellar' Came Close To What His Version Of 'Contact' Would've Been Like George Miller Says 'Interstellar' Came Close To What His Version Of 'Contact' Would've Been Like New NSFW, Extremely Graphic, Adults-Only Poster For Gaspar Noe's 'Love' New NSFW, Extremely Graphic, Adults-Only Poster For Gaspar Noe's 'Love' The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season 10 Movies Booed At Cannes 10 Movies Booed At Cannes All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More

Naomi Watts Replaces Jessica Chastain As Princess Diana In Oliver Hirschbiegel's Biopic 'Caught In Flight'

Photo of Oliver Lyttelton By Oliver Lyttelton | The Playlist February 9, 2012 at 7:16AM

It's almost impressive at this point that we've gotten this far down the line (nearly fifteen years after her death) without some kind of film focusing on the life of Princess Diana, the ill-fated tabloid sweetheart who married Prince Charles, the heir to the English throne, only for the marriage to swiftly disintegrate. They divorced in 1995, and Diana was killed in a car crash in Paris two years later (the events of which are depicted in Stephen Frears' "The Queen," in which Diana only appears via archive footage.)
6
Naomi Watts Princess Diana

It's almost impressive at this point that we've gotten this far down the line (nearly fifteen years after her death) without some kind of film focusing on the life of Princess Diana, the ill-fated tabloid sweetheart who married Prince Charles, the heir to the English throne, only for the marriage to swiftly disintegrate. They divorced in 1995, and Diana was killed in a car crash in Paris two years later (the events of which are depicted in Stephen Frears' "The Queen," in which Diana only appears via archive footage.)

But the last couple of years have started to see movement on various projects, with names like Charlize Theron, Keira Knightley, Scarlett Johansson and, more recently, Carey Mulligan, bandied about as possibilites to play the late Queen of Hearts. But the most concrete news came last year, when it was announced that Oliver Hirschbiegel, the German helmer of "Downfall," would direct "Caught In Flight," which would focus on Diana's affair with Pakistani heart surgeon Dr. Hasnat Khan, and that woman of the moment Jessica Chastain was in talks to take the lead role.

However, word has been quiet since then, and when we spoke to Chastain in Marrakech in December, the actress told us that "when you're playing a real person you have to be as absolutely aware and  educated as you can be on their life and that you're telling the right story in the right way. So all of us involved in this project are looking to make sure that if and when it happens, it will be with great respect... it's a huge risk, which makes me want to do it more, but I also want to make sure it's the right story."

Well, it looks like her doubts couldn't be assuaged, as Deadline report from the market in Berlin that Chastain is out. Fortunately, they haven't downgraded too far (or at all), as backers Ecosse Films ("Wuthering Heights") have announced that Oscar-nominee Naomi Watts has stepped into the role for the project, which is penned by Stephen Jeffreys ("The Libertine").

While it's a shame that Chastain's packed schedule (she's about to film Kathryn Bigelow's Bin Laden movie) wasn't able to accomodate the project, we're glad that Watts has found a lead role, particularly as some of her more recent turns ("Dream House," "J. Edgar") have been somewhat thankless. But with this, and "The Impossible" and "The Grandmothers" on the way, things are certainly looking up. Filming should get underway in the U.K. late in the year.

This article is related to: Naomi Watts, Diana, Oliver Hirschbiegel


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates