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." 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.