Naomi Watts — the 21 Grams, Mulholland Drive and The Ring star — will be portraying the late Princess of Wales in the upcoming biopic, Diana.
Directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel (Downfall), Diana is said to capture the last two years of Princess Di’s life, exploring her relationship with heart surgeon Hasnat Khan.
The doctor and the Princess enjoyed a discreet romantic affair that began in 1995 and ended just before the royal’s death in August 1997.
Ecosse, the film company behind the project, has released the first image of Watts in character on the set of Diana. Naveen Andrews, who famously portrayed Sayid Jarrah in J.J. Abrams‘ Lost and Kip in the film adaptation of Michael Ondaatje‘s The English Patient, takes on the role of Dr Khan. Other cast members include Douglas Hodge and Juliet Stevenson.
According to a BBC, Ecosse explains that the biopic “charts how finding true personal happiness allowed her to achieve her defining successes, as she evolved into a major international campaigner and humanitarian.”
The movie is also rumoured to touch on the Princess’ relationship with Dodi Fayed.
Responding to criticisms of the film, Ecosse directors Robert Bernstein and Douglas Rae have said, ”everyone’s aim [was] to produce a truly insightful and compassionate study of Diana’s later years.”
Diana began principal photography this week. The film is due for release next year.