Naomi Watts has landed the coveted role of Princess Diana in the forthcoming biopic by 'Downfall' director Oliver Hirschbiegel. The movie will track the last two years of the Princess's life, as she became a "major international campaigner and humanitarian", reports the Press Association.
There are currently three Diana biopics known to be in pre-production, with Hirschbiegel's project the first to announce its leading lady. It is likely to encounter major competition from Stephen Evans' British movie, based on the book Closely Guarded Secret, penned by Diana's bodyguard Ken Wharfe. According to E! Online, South African actress Charlize Theron is the overwhelming favorite to land the role of Diana in that movie, which would make for an interest battle at the box-office, with both projects boasting heavyweight names. Evans has admitted there are "one or two very famous people" vying for the part, with Carey Mulligan, Keira Knightley and Scarlett Johansson also thought to be interested. Speaking of her role in Hirschbiegel's movie, which should begin shooting later this year, Watts said, "It is such an honour to be able to play this iconic role - Princess Diana was loved across the world, and I look forward to rising to the challenge of playing her on screen". The director also spoke of his delight at landing Watts, saying, "I am delighted to have such a truly exceptional actress who embodies the warmth, humanity and empathy of such a global icon as Princess Diana".
The British-Australian actress has established herself as a household name in Hollywood, and her film credits include Mulholland Drive, The Ring, King King and J. Edgar.