People have been making films about Princess Diana since long before her death in 1997, and people will continue to make films about her for years to come. But Oliver Hirschbiegel’s Diana may be the biggest Princess Diana movie so far. Starring Naomi Watts as the eponymous princess, Diana was picked up at Cannes this spring with the intent to market it this fall. Presumably, the idea is for Diana to rake in several dump trucks worth of statuettes, one of which would be an Oscar for Watts.
So far, the plan seems to be coming together.According to Deadline, Diana will have a limited release on November 1 this year, with a larger release set to follow sometime after (it seems that part hasn’t been nailed down just yet). But judging from the film’s trailer (which you can check out here), the whole ‘winning lots of awards’ part seems like it’ll be a bit more of a challenge. Watts has talent, that’s for sure. And she’s been on the Oscar shortlist more than once- for 21 Grams and The Impossible. But Diana looks to be heavy on the cheese and light on the substance. Biopics are trophy magnets come awards season, but a bad biopic just comes off as hamfisted Oscar bait. Remember 2009’s Amelia? It’s ok- nobody else does, either.
Diana will focus on the late princess’s relationship with surgeon Hasnat Khan (Naveen Andrews), as well as a general picture of the last two years of her life.