The first footage from Pablo Larraín’s drama Spencer, about Princess Diana starring Kristen Stewart, debuted Wednesday at CinemaCon.
The crowd of theater owners at CinemaCon, the annual trade show convention currently unfolding at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, got a first look at footage for “Spencer,” the biographical drama featuring Kristen Stewart as a young Princess Diana.
“Spencer,” set in 1991, unfolds over the Christmas holiday and grapples with Diana’s (born Diana Frances Spencer) decision to end her marriage to Prince Charles. English actor Jack Farthing is starring alongside Stewart as the heir apparent to the British throne.
Before its 20-minute long presentation at CinemaCon, Neon, the studio backing the film, debuted a new poster with the tagline “Every fairy tale ends.”
Pablo Larrain (“Jackie”) directed “Spencer,” which was written by “Peaky Blinders” creator Steven Knight. Topic Studios is co-distributing the film with Neon. During Neon’s CinemaCon presentation, the company’s CEO and founder Tom Quinn appeared in a pre-recorded segment before touting footage from “Titane,” an unusual thriller that won the top prize at Cannes; as well as the emotional Sundance award-winning documentary “Flee.”
CinemaCon is taking place amid a trying time for the theater business. After a year without a steady stream of new movies to entice audiences, the delta variant is posing a new threat to the return of moviegoing. As a result of prolonged theater closures and low attendance levels, studios have shattered industry tradition by putting their biggest movies on streaming platforms on the same day as their theatrical releases.
The footage, which hasn’t been made available to the general public, features fabulous suits, elaborate scenery, and a tense conversation between the Prince and Princess of Wales. At another point in the teaser trailer shown to CinemaCon attendees, Stewart’s Diana prances through the estate grounds and evades paparazzi, and it becomes increasingly clear the people’s princess is struggling to balance her private and public persona.
Not every Hollywood company has abandoned the idea of an exclusive theatrical window. Neon, the distribution company behind Oscar winner “Parasite,” has released several films in theaters amid the pandemic, including “Ammonite,” starring Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan, and the Nicolas Cage-led “Pig.”
The movie will premiere at the Venice Film Festival, which runs from September 1 through September 11. The Festival’s list also includes the Hungarian shot “Dune” and a Hungarian feature film “Erasing Frank”.