The producer of a film in development about Princess Diana has clarified that British actors can apply for the role of Prince William in Spencer, from the pen of the Peaky Blinders creator, Steven Knight.
A casting call went out on Wednesday stating that actor with British European passports need not apply for the role “due to new Brexit rules from January 1st 2021”, when the UK leaves the EU.
However, Paul Webster, the Oscar-nominated and BAFTA-winning producer of Atonement, told Deadline: “We’re meeting British boys all the time for this role. If they happen to have an Irish passport all well and good. But it’s not a hindrance to have a British passport. We’re not saying we need a foreigner to play Prince William.”
He added: “Many of our cast will be British. Some of our cast will be European to meet certain funding requirements. But this is an official co-production with Europe so we don’t anticipate any issue with our British cast working in Germany. There is no connection to Brexit.”
Despite Webster’s update, the original advert is still live.
— Amy Hubbard (@amyhubcast) November 25, 2020
Spencer revolves around a few days in the life of Princess Diana when she made up her mind to end her marriage and give up the possibility of ever becoming Queen.
In an eye-catching casting decision, the producers chose The Twilight Saga star Kristen Stewart to play the iconic Englishwoman and the 30-year-old American actress has spoken about the challenge of playing Diana.
She told InStyle magazine in 2019: “The accent is intimidating as all hell because people know that voice, and it’s so, so distinct and particular. I’m working on it now and already have my dialect coach. In terms of research, I’ve gotten through two-and-a-half biographies, and I’m finishing all the material before I actually go make the movie.
“It’s one of the saddest stories to exist ever, and I don’t want to just play Diana — I want to know her implicitly. I haven’t been this excited about playing a part, by the way, in so long.”
Spencer captures a brief moment in the early 1990s, when Princess Di was holidaying at the Royal Family’s Sandringham estate in Norfolk.
It will be directed by Pablo Larraín (Jackie). It will be fascinating to see how he adapts the script by the peerless screenwriter Knight.