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Diana tells the story of the late Princess Diana of Wales, or part of it. Naomi Watts plays Diana for Downfall director Oliver Hirschbiegel, and the focus is on a period in which the Princess began a somewhat clandestine romance with a doctor and the media frenzy that erupted when her extra-marital activities became public. Her life ended in a Parisian road tunnel when the driver of a limo containing Diana and a different boyfriend, Dodi Fayed, crashed their vehicle.

While Watts looks fine as Diana there’s an undertone of salciousness here, as there is almost certain to be with any film such as this — it’s all about her secret, and the love she couldn’t share with the world! Ironically, perhaps, the tone of this trailer puts it more in line with the interests of the paparazzi who hounded Diana to before death, rather than casting the film as a loving or objective tribute.

Check out the full trailer for the film below. Read More »

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Diana

Oliver Hirschbiegel‘s best-known film to date is probably Downfall, a.k.a. the movie used in the “Hitler Reacts To” meme. But for his newest biopic, he’s tackling a much less controversial, far more beloved leader.

Diana follows the People’s Princess (played by Naomi Watts) and her passionate romance with Dr. Hasnat Kahn (Naveen Andrews of Lost fame) in the last years of her life. The first teaser released earlier this summer was little more than a collection of images set to music, but the first full-length trailer from Australia offers a better look, with actual dialogue and everything. Check it out after the jump.

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Naomi Watts was once set to play Marilyn Monroe in Andrew Domink’s film Blonde. That film was delayed, but could still happen, and we don’t know if Watts will still be in the lead role when (if) it does shoot. But the actress nabbed the lead role in another film that looks at an influential figure in history: she’s playing Diana, Princess of Wales in Caught in Flight, directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel (The Invasion, Downfall).

Watts replaced another actress, as Jessica Chastain was once tipped for the role. The image above is one of the first of Watts in character as the late Royal, and she looks just enough like her subject to suggest that Watts was a good choice for the gig. (Also a good choice: whoever is styling her hair into Di’s signature look.) Check out another pic below. Read More »

There is a staggering amount of casting news today thanks in part to the in-progress European Film Market at the Berlin Film Festival, where producers take projects to gather foreign distribution deals and financing. So let’s get right to it.

First up, the Princess Diana film Caught in Flight, which will be directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel (The Invasion, Downfall) has found a new Princess. Last year Jessica Chastain was in talks for the role — there was a moment where she was in talks for every big female role, it seems — but now Diana will be played by Naomi Watts. Losing Chastain is unfortunate, but if Watts is the replacement I can’t see too many complaints being aired.

Written by Stephen Jeffreys, the film will shoot later this year with an emphasis on the last two years of Diana’s life; that is, after her 1995 divorce, and through her relationship with heart surgeon Dr. Hasnat Khan. “It charts how finding true personal happiness for the first time allowed her to achieve her defining successes evolving into a major international campaigner and humanitarian.” [Deadline]

After the break, Haley Joel Osment goes back to science fiction, and we catch up with two new roles for Katherine Heigl that were announced not long ago. Read More »

Quite a few big possible projects have already come out of the American Film Market (AFM) over the past week, and here’s one more: Jessica Chastain, who has made quite a mark in 2011 thanks to The Tree of Life, Take Shelter, The Help and The Debt, is set to play the late Princess Diana in Caught in Flight. The film would be directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel (Downfall, The Invasion) if it goes forward based on the script by Steven Jeffreys (The Libertine).

But this is not to be a run of the mill portrait of the Princess, but a story of a secret affair she had with a surgeon. Caught in Flight isn’t going to be the most flattering Diana tribute. Read More »

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Oliver Hirschbiegel, director of Downfall, hit a little career snag with The Invasion, but started to rebound with Five Minutes of Heaven, and may still be prepping to shoot The Angel Face, about a German mafia hitman.

And now he’ll reportedly also direct The Dark Side of the Moon, based not on the Pink Floyd album whose cover has adorned every dorm room in America at some point, but on the novel of the same name by Swiss author Martin Suter. (Which was admittedly titled as a gloss on the Floyd disc.) Read More »

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Making a small film in the US means raising money by whatever means are necessary, but other countries actually support the arts. Crazy idea, right? I’m sure there are issues with how public arts funding is doled out in the UK, but I love the fact that small films from proven talent can get some public money to help them along. The UK Film Council recently released information on what films are receiving grants from the council this year, and there are some interesting details in the list.

Some of the projects — and the ones getting the most funding — are ones we already knew about, like Joe Cornish‘s Attack the Block and Mike Leigh‘s Another Year. But in the list of funded films there are also quite a few new projects or things that we’ve only heard rumblings about. Much more detail after the break. Read More »

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Pretty much every time something crazy or divisive happens in the world of entertainment or on the world news stage, you can be sure that someone, somewhere will write new subtitles to the scene from Oliver Hirschbiegel‘s film Downfall in which Hitler realizes that he’s lost the war.

Until now, we haven’t heard Hirschbeigel’s take on the meme. Vulture got him on the phone, prompted by the new version written around the Conan/Leno strife, and learned that he loves it. The director says he’s often emailed new versions, and that he’s seen almost 150 variations. “You couldn’t get a better compliment as a director,” he says. His favorites include the one where Hitler learns that Billy Elliot is sold out on Broadway.

More to the point, the meme actually works in concert with his intentions as a filmmaker. “The point of the film was to kick these terrible people off the throne that made them demons, making them real and their actions into reality,” he says. “I think it’s only fair if now it’s taken as part of our history, and used for whatever purposes people like.”

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