The British Surely Won't Mind Jessica Chastain Playing an Adulterous Princess Di
Word from the American Film Market has Jessica Chastain attached to star as Princess Diana in Caught in Flight, a developing project about the late royal's "secret affair" with heart surgeon Dr. Hasnat Khan, "who was said to be the love of her life." And according to those who've seen the script, the beloved Princess of Wales is not depicted so flatteringly. Incoming Daily Mail artillery in 5... 4... 3...
Here's a bit of back story from AFM, thanks to Thompson on Hollywood:
The princess met Dr. [Khan] at the Royal Brompton Hospital in 1995 when she was visiting a friend who was recovering from heart surgery. The couple pursued a quiet two-year affair. Dr. Khan, who she named "Mr. Wonderful," maintained an eleven-year silence over the relationship, until he spoke [to] The Telegraph about the affair in 2008. In the article, the relationship is described as being so serious that Diana was thinking of converting to Islam. She wore traditional dress to meet his family on a visit to Pakistan. [...]
In his director's statement, circulating to buyers at the AFM, [Oliver] Hirschbiegel talks about the compassion and wisdom that Dr. Khan showed the princess. Hirchbiegel has a track record for exploring iconic figures on film and casting them in a different light. Witness Downfall, which looked at Hitler's dying days.
Those who have read the script for Caught in Flight, by Steven Jeffreys (The Libertine), say that the late Princess is not cast in a particularly favorable light; she is shown as a damaged person who stalks the doctor after he ends the affair.
I'm on the record as Team Chastain from way back; she can accomplish anything she wants as far as I'm concerned. Except, that is, appease a nation for whom news of their precious Diana treated as a real woman with complex needs and desires -- played by an American, no less -- will prove the equivalent of one police baton in the head too many. "Aye," said one Briton consulted by Movieline's UK bureau. "Di's a right bird, now. Whotcha mean with aw this?" Another, awoken from a pub slumber, agreed: "Firs' ya got Thatcher, ain't that enough for ya? I say give 'er the Oscar for Bes' Bollocks. Ya tosser."
It will get worse before it gets better. Prepare accordingly.
AFM News EXCLUSIVE: Jessica Chastain To Star In Princess Di Biopic [Thompson on Hollywood]
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