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Naomi Watts to Play Princess Diana in Biopic 'Caught in Flight,' Replaces Jessica Chastain

Thompson on Hollywood By Sophia Savage | Thompson on Hollywood February 9, 2012 at 12:38PM

Naomi Watts will play Princess Diana in Oliver Hirschbiegel's ("Downfall") "Caught in Flight." This is excellent news for Watts, deserving of more leading dramatic roles like this, but Princess Diana devotees will certainly have their opinions on this casting choice...
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Naomi Watts

Naomi Watts will play Princess Diana in Oliver Hirschbiegel's ("Downfall") "Caught in Flight." Jessica Chastain was previously attached. This is excellent news for Watts, who is deserving of more leading dramatic roles like this, but Princess Diana devotees will certainly have their opinions regarding this casting choice, as they did with Chastain (you can vote below). The Australian actress and German director will shoot the film later this year in the UK. Written by Stephen Jeffreys, the story weaves a portrait of Diana during the last two years of her life, in which she found personal happiness and evolved into an international campaigner and humanitarian. Watts says, "it is such an honour to be able to play this iconic role - Princess Diana was loved across the world, and I look forward to rising to the challenge of playing her on screen." Hirschbiegel adds that Watts "embodies the warmth, humanity and empathy of such a global icon as Princess Diana.’
 
Écosse Films ("Becoming Jane," "Brideshead Revisited," "Nowhere Boy") is producing.

Among Watts' other upcoming projects are action-drama "The Impossible" with Ewan McGregor (director Juan Antonio Bayona) and "Sunlight Jr." (Laurie Collyer). She has also been linked to Andrew Dominik's ("The Assassination of Jesse James") "Blonde," in which she'd play Marilyn Monroe, but news has been silent on that front.

Naomi Watts as Princess Diana
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This article is related to: IN THE WORKS, CASTING WATCH, Headliners, Directors, Biopics, Genres, News, News


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.