Last month we reported that a movie based on the Chilean mining disaster was going into production before the miners had even been saved. I, in a search for comparisons, enrolled the aid of 9/11 and Oliver Stone but was stopped short by the tragic death of Lady Diana. While each new film about a contemporary disaster seemed to be pushing the boundaries of taste in their immediacy, Princess Diana had been awarded considerable grace. I puzzled, does The Queen really constitute her definitive film adaptation. It appears not.
Lady Diana’s big screen homage is apparently like buses, you wait years for one to come along and then two arrive at once.
With Diana’s posthumous 50th Birthday and 30th Wedding Anniversary expected to draw innumerable tributes next July, the movies will likely be in production by the time commemorations reach fever pitch.
In development at Pathé and Renaissance Films, the two projects endeavour to homage the life and death of the Queen of Hearts and dramatise the allegations of Ken Wharfe’s controversial Diana: Closely Guarded Secret respectively. While Princes William and Harry have signed off on Pathé’s traditional biopic, their opinions regarding Renaissance Films’ more controversial project are not yet known.
The projects differ on more than just risk, however, with Pathé courting the likes of Kiera Knightly and – placards at the ready, Daily Express readers – Scarlett Johansson for the role of Diana and Helen Mirren for the role of her mother Frances Shand Kydd, while Renaissance Films are hoping to secure Charlize Theron and Ewan McGreggor. Producer Stephen Evans explained to the Daily Mail:
“We are intending to make the authentic movie of Diana by using the voices of the people who were there – and Ken Wharfe was right there at her side at the most significant part of her life.”
While I am indeed surprised that the perhaps more predictable names – Emily Blunt, Carey Mulligan or Gemma Arterton – aren’t being banded about, I am far more interested in who might play Prince Charles. Collider raises a good point:
“Ralph Fiennes is too grim, Clive Owen is too good-looking and Daniel Craig, too cool.”
I must say, Peter O’Toole has my vote.