Who is the best actress to play Princess Diana in a biopic? Years ago, Lindsay Lohan told In Touch Weekly she'd like to play the royal do-gooder, who died in a car crash in 1997. That's certainly not going to happen. But now another redhead (sometimes), Scarlett Johansson, is apparently a contender. According to the Daily Mail, she's a "possibility" along with "top" choice Keira Knightley for a Pathé-produced film that would take us through Diana's life from childhood to her death.
Knightley's name was on wishlists three years ago, too, when the book 'Diana and the Paparazzi' was published and its film rights were being pursued by Hollywood. The Oscar-nominated actress since then starred in Pathé's 'The Duchess,' which was marketed as being linked and parallel to Diana's life. Pathé also made 'The Queen' and wants this to be in the same vein, though that film's star, Helen Mirren, is now (potentially confusingly) being lined up to play Diana's mother, Frances Shand Kydd.
Meanwhile, the Mail also has news of another, bigger Diana biopic in the works from producer Stephen Evans ('The Madness of King George'). This one will focus only on her relationship with bodyguard Ken Wharfe and would be based on his book, 'Diana: Closely Guarded Secret.' Reportedly Charlize Theron has been cast as the princess while Ewan McGregor will portray Wharfe. Unlike the Pathé project, which is in "early stages," Evans' movie already has a script, by UK TV writer Philip Kerr, and a budget (close to $50 million).
The Theron version will very likely hit theaters ahead of the other, but it might not do much harm to the second film's appeal the way late-comers in other "dueling biopic" situations have suffered (such as 'Infamous' after 'Capote') because it will be so much more limited in its biographical scope. Most Diana fans will still want to see her whole life story (even if they've already seen plenty of TV productions) after seeing the depiction of an isolated affair. As long as she's not terribly cast, that is.
[via The Playlist]