Once upon a time, the news that Kristen Stewart would be playing Princess Diana in Pablo Larraín’s Spencer, was met with much snark and eye-rolling. But in a fairy-tale ending for what we’ve been warned is a non-fairy-tale movie, the Twilight star has officially entered the Oscar chat with the release of the first teaser trailer for the highly anticipated royal drama, which premieres at the Venice Film Festival in early September. (Watch the trailer above.)
Truth be told, the Twitter tide started to turn on Stewart’s casting when the first images from Spencer went viral in January. And a recent poster for the film — which didn’t even feature the actress’s face — continued to stoke anticipation for her transformation into the beloved public figure, who would have celebrated her 60th birthday this year. (Diana died in 1997.)
That transformation is finally on full display in the minute-long clip, which is scored to a haunting cover version of Lou Reed’s "Perfect Day." Set over the course of the Christmas holidays in 1991, Spencer finds the Princess of Wales joining the rest of the royal family at the Queen’s Sandringham Estate. But this is far from a happy gathering: a decade removed from their lavish wedding, Diana and Charles (Jack Farthing) have reached a crisis point in their marriage and, moving forward, nothing will be the same.
Larraín contrasts Diana’s lush surroundings, where things run with clockwork precision, with her own inner turmoil spurred on by the secrets she’s hiding. "They know everything," remarks one of her few confidants, played by The Shape of Water star, Sally Hawkins. "They don’t," Diana replies — a line that speaks directly to the director’s stated intention to explore the person behind the icon.
Speaking of icons, Twitter is already in full worship mode over Stewart’s performance in the Spencer trailer. Just wait until they get their first look at the entire movie on Nov. 5.
Spencer premieres Nov. 5 in theaters.