It’s a release date fit for a Princess.
Diana, the Princess of Wales biopic starring Naomi Watts as the eponymous royal, will hit theaters in limited release on November 1, 2013. Entertainment One, who picked up the film for distribution at the Cannes Film Festival, announced the plans Monday, which positions Diana as an early awards hopeful.
The story focuses on the last two years of the late Princess’s life, including her little-known but significant romance with Dr. Hasnat Khan (played by Lost’s Naveen Andrews), a heart surgeon. Directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel (The Invasion), the film will be a portrait of a woman in transition after her extremely public marriage and divorce from Prince Charles. “She finds that love that she’s always been longing for and she’s always been deprived of,” Hirschbiegel told EW, adding: “She is the most complex character I’ve ever had to deal with.”
Nov. 1 has a number of big releases currently on the schedule, including Ender’s Game, Last Vegas, and Free Birds. The two weeks prior will also have seen the limited release of the beat generation pic Kill Your Darlings, Steve McQueen’s epic Twelve Years a Slave, and Cannes-winner Blue Is the Warmest Color. The early November positioning puts the film at a comfortable distance from Olivier Dahan’s Grace of Monaco, another potential Princess-focused awards contender starring Watts’ fellow Aussie Nicole Kidman, which The Weinstein Company has set for a limited release on Nov. 27.
Watts currently has two Oscar nominations under her belt for her lead performances in 2003′s 21 Grams and 2012′s The Impossible, and perhaps Diana will provide another opportunity for awards season recognition. “The biopic thing is not something that I jump towards,” Watts admitted in a recent interview with EW. Still, she hopes it will resonate with audiences. “I’m interested in real life stories and I think we are craving those now more than ever.”