It's no secret that portraying a famous figure is a great career (and awards) booster for any qualified actor or actress; the last few years alone have brought acclaim to biopic stars like Colin Firth (as King George VI in The King's Speech), Meryl Streep (as Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady), Michelle Williams (as Marilyn Monroe in My Week With Marilyn) and of course, Daniel Day Lewis (as Abraham Lincoln in Lincoln).
Naomi Watts already has been nominated for two Oscars, but is definitely angling for a third with her new film Diana, a biopic memoir about the last two years of Princess Diana's life, following her divorce from Prince Charles. Watch the teaser trailer for the film above; the movie comes by way of German director Oliver Hirschbiegel (The Experiment) and acclaimed UK playwright-turned-screenwriter, Stephen Jeffreys.
Check out an official synopsis for the film:
DIANA takes audiences into the private realm of one the world’s most iconic and inescapably public women -- the Princess of Wales, Diana (two-time Oscar® nominee NAOMI WATTS) -- in the last two years of her meteoric life. On the occasion of the 16th anniversary of her sudden death, acclaimed director Oliver Hirschbiegel (the Oscar®-nominated Downfall) explores Diana’s final rite of passage: a secret love affair with Pakistani heart surgeon Hasnat Khan (NAVEEN ANDREWS, “Lost,” The English Patient), the human complications of which reveal the Princess’s climactic days in a compelling new light.
Hirschbiegel directs from a screenplay by award-winningplaywright Stephen Jeffreys, inspired by the book Diana: Her Last Love by Kate Snell, which was in turn drawn from extensive interviews with close friends and confidantes. The result is a window into the tumultuous, change-filled period from 1995-1997, in the wake of Diana’s shattering divorce from Prince Charles, and at the moment when she stood on the cusp of adifferent life, evolving into a global humanitarian, a master of maneuvering fame and becoming her own woman.
Much like The Iron Lady Teaser Trailer, this teaser for Diana is meant to succinctly introduce Watts in the role of an icon - and it's a strong match, if this footage is anything to judge by. Of course, unlike that initial Iron Lady trailer, this teaser does not go so far as to show any scenes of Watts actually speaking, which is sure to be a rather large hinging point for the millions of Diana fans out there, who will be scrutinizing every frame of this film.
The royal family allowed the production to shoot both outside Kensington Palace and in the royal Gardens, so there seems to be little controversy about the film's subject matter (as far as the monarchy is concerned); though, like James Bond (another British icon) there could be some minor stir about nationality; Watts was born in the UK, but moved to Australia at fourteen, and is technically a dual citizen.
All those external matters aside, the film itself actually looks pretty great in terms of visual composition, and Watts (who has never really turned in a bad performance, even in bad films) is sure to bring the necessary acting chops to make this something special. Aiding in that journey will be Lost star Naveen Andrews, playing Diana's love interest, Dr. Hasnat Khan.
Diana will be in theaters on September 20, 2013 in the UK; we'll keep you posted on a US release date.