Pablo Larraín to Direct Kirsten Stewart in Princess Diana Film “Spencer”

Pablo Larraín is taking on the portray of another legend…

The 43-year-old Oscar-nominated Chilean filmmaker will direct Kristen Stewart in the drama Spencer about Princess Diana

Pablo Larraín

The Steven Knight-scripted film covers a critical weekend in the early ‘90s, when Diana decided her marriage to Prince Charles wasn’t working, and that she needed to veer from a path that put her in line to one day be queen. The drama takes place over three days, in one of her final Christmas holidays in the House of Windsor in their Sandringham estate in Norfolk, England. 

“I’ve always been intrigued and fascinated by the Royal Family and how things are in that culture, which we don’t have where I come from,” Larraín said. “Diana is such a powerful icon, where millions and millions of people, not just women, but many people around the world felt empathy toward her in her life. We decided to get into a story about identity, and around how a woman decides somehow, not to be the queen. She’s a woman who, in the journey of the movie, decides and realizes that she wants to be the woman she was before she met Charles.

The film won’t deal with Diana’s tragic death after she left that palace life, but will examine the fraying of the relationship with her husband, and her ferocious love for her sons Prince William and Prince Harry.

“It’s about finding herself, about understanding that possibly the most important thing for her is to be well, and to be with herself and by herself,” Larraín explained. “That’s why the movie is called Spencer, which is the family name she had before she met Charles. It’s very contained, set over a few days in Sandringham. They spent Christmas there for many years and that’s where we set the movie in the early ‘90s, around 1992, we’re not specific. It’s Christmas Eve, Christmas and Boxing Day, three days, very contained. We get to understand what it is she wants and what she will do.”

“How and why do you decide to do that? It’s a great universal story that can reach millions and millions of people, and that’s what we want to do. We want to make a movie that goes wide, connects with a worldwide audience that is interested in such a fascinating life,” he adds.

Production is expected to begin in early 2021 on the film, which Larraín will also produce.

Larraín previously directed Natalie Portman in Jackie. The film follows Jackie Kennedy in the days when she was First Lady in the White House and her life immediately following the assassination of her husband, U.S. President John F. Kennedy in 1963. The film earned Portman an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress.

Larraín’s other credits include Neruda, about poet Pablo Neruda, as well as the Spanish-language film No, Oscar-nominated for Best Foreign Language Film, and The Club.

Larrain Attached to Direct Annapurna Pictures’ “The True American”

Things could be ringing True for Pablo Larraín

The 40-year-old Chilean filmmaker, the Oscar-nominated director behind such titles as Jackie and Neruda, is attached to direct Tom Hardy in Annapurna Pictures’ The True American.

Pablo Larraín

The project is based on Anand Giridharadas’ nonfiction book of the same name, which is set in Texas in the days following 9/11. It follows the story of Rais Bhuiyan, a Muslim immigrant and Bangladesh Air Force veteran who narrowly survived a killing spree that took the lives of two other immigrants. Employed at a Dallas-area convenience store as he established himself in America, Bhuiyan worked to have his attacker, self-styled “Arab-slayer” Mark Stroman, spared from execution.

This is a project that has been kicking around for a few years now, with Kathryn Bigelow attached to direct at one point, but now it’s moving forward with Bigelow taking a producer role on the film.

Larraín is fast becoming one of the most sought after international directors after his recent effort Jackie, starring Natalie Portman as the former First Lady in the days following the assassination of John F. Kennedy, was nominated for three Oscars.

His Spanish-language film Neruda, a twist on the biopic genre about the eponymous Nobel Prize-winning poet, was made in Chile and debuted at the Cannes Film Festival while his 2012 political satire No was nominated for an Academy Award in the Best Foreign Language Film category.

The True American: Murder and Mercy in Texas was published in 2014 by W.W. Norton & Company.

Garcia Bernal Picks Up FIPRESCI Prize at the Palm Springs International Film Festival

Gael Garcia Bernal is a diamond in the desert…

The 38-year-old Mexican actor picked up the FIPRESCI Prize for best actor at the 27th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival for his performance in Pablo Larrain’s Neruda.

Gael Garcia Bernal

Garcia Bernal portrays Oscar Peluchonneau, the fascist Chief of the Policía de Investigaciones, in the film about poet and Communist Senator Pablo Neruda.

Neruda, which was selected as the Chilean entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 89th Academy Awards, also picked up the fest’s Cine Latino Award.

The John Schlesinger Award, presented to a director of a first or second feature documentary, was awarded to Cristina Herrera Borquez for No Dress Code Required, which looks at a same-sex couple as they fight for the right to marry in their hometown of Mexicali, Baja California.

The fest, which ran through January 16, announced its juried award winners at a luncheon Saturday at the Hilton Palm Springs.

Here’s the complete list of winners:

FIPRESCI Prize for Best Foreign Language Film of the Year
Toni Erdmann (Germany), directed by Maren Ade

FIPRESCI Prize for the Best Actor in a Foreign Language Film
Gael García Bernal in Neruda (Chile)

FIPRESCI Prize for Best Actress in a Foreign Language Film
Isabelle Huppert in Elle(France)

New Voices/New Visions Award
Winner: White Sun (Nepal/U.S./Qatar/Netherlands), directed by Deepak Runiyar
Special Mentions: Kati Kati (Kenya/Germany), directed by Mbithi Masya and Mellow Mud (Latvia), directed by Renārs Vimba

The John Schlesinger Award
Winner: No Dress Code Required (Mexico), directed by Cristina Herrera Bórquez
Special Mention: Beauties of the Night (Mexico), directed by Maria José Cuevas 

Cine Latino Award
Winner: Neruda (Chile), directed by Pablo Larraín
Special Mention: Everything Else (Mexico), directed by Natalia Alamda

HP Bridging the Borders Award
Winner: Mercenary (France), directed by Sacha Wolff