The Cannes Film Festival is in full swing, kicking up news of upcoming productions as well as their promotional pics. Among these is the one seen above, which features Naomi Watts as the beloved Princess Diana from the biopic titled Diana (formerly Caught in Flight). Though we’ve seen several unofficial shots of Watts in princess mode before, this image is the one that’s meant to tantalize on-the-fence distributors to pick up the curious drama about the late royal’s final years. And it seems to be working.
Deadline reports Entertainment One has snatched up Diana’s U.S. distribution rights, which means those curious in the colonies could see the Oliver Hirschbiegel-directed pic by year’s end, just in time for award season. eOne also picked up rights to distribute with major releases in the UK, Canada, and Spain.
Penned by The Libertine playwright/screenwriter Stephen Jeffreys, Diana follows the Princess of Wales post-divorce, when she got involved in a campaign against landmines as well as a romantic relationship with Dr. Hasnat Khan, a Pakistani heart surgeon. Lost’s Naveen Andrews will appear opposite Watts, playing the good doctor, while Canadian character actor Cas Anvar will portray Diana’s better known lover, Dodi Fayed, who died alongside her in that tragic car crash on August 31st, 1997.
Earlier this year, Watts earned her second Academy Award nomination for her brave performance in the tsunami disaster movie The Impossible, but didn’t walk away with the trophy. Could her follow-up portraying the People’s Princess win her that so-far elusive Oscar? Playing a royal certainly worked for others, including Colin Firth (King George VI in The King’s Speech) and Helen Mirren (Queen Elizabeth II in The Queen).