Following in the footsteps of The Crown’s two Princess Dianas (played by Emma Corrin in season four and Elizabeth Debicki in the upcoming season five), comes Spencer. From Jackie director Pablo Larrín, Spencer is “an imagining of what might have happened” during the Christmas celebration at the Queen’s Sandringham Estate when Princess Diana weighed divorcing Prince Charles. Coming this November 5th (a date that lives in infamy for the Guy-Fawkes-mask-wearing hackers the world over), Spencer promises to be another look inside the unknowable lives of the monarchy.
There’s very little to glean from the trailer outside of the film’s tone. With ghostly children’s choir singing Lou Reed’s ode to heroin, “Perfect Day,” Kristen Stewart’s Princess Diana frets about the house, twirls in her dance studio, and turns her head away from the press. It makes sense for Larrín to hone in on Diana’s isolation during these days, especially as she considered leaving the lap of luxury that became a prison. As a result, the trailer doesn’t make Sandringham Estate look like a very welcoming place.
Here’s the synopsis:
The marriage of Princess Diana and Prince Charles has long since grown cold. Though rumors of affairs and a divorce abound, peace is ordained for the Christmas festivities at the Queen’s Sandringham Estate. There’s eating and drinking, shooting and hunting. Diana knows the game. But this year, things will be profoundly different. Spencer is an imagining of what might have happened during those few fateful days.
Much like Larrín’s previous film Jackie, which earned its star Natalie Portman her third Oscar nomination, Spencer focuses on its female lead: Kristen Stewart as Princess Diana. Her performance is the most-anticipated part of the film, not only because Diana was and still is so beloved, but also because it’s among the first transformational performances given by Stewart. Like her former co-star Robert Pattinson, Stewart has spent her post-Twilight years attempting to break away from the world of Bella Swan and Forks, Washington, and get some dang respect. Popping on a wig and doing an accent for a well-regarded filmmaker usually does the trick.
In addition to Stewart, Spencer stars Timothy Spall, Jack Farthing, Sean Harris, and Sally Hawkins. It’s also written by Steven Knight, who has one of the strangest careers in entertainment, with writing credits on Eastern Promises, the Bradley Cooper mean chef movie Burnt, and the new-school so-bad-it’s-good cult hit Serenity. He also created Peaky Blinders and, get this, Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?. But most importantly, he wrote that “Scrooge who fucks” Christmas Carol from a few years ago, which opens with—I kid you not—a street urchin pissing on the grave of Jacob Marley. Urine then drips down through the soil onto Marley’s corpse and awakens the dead partner of Ebenezer Scrooge. It’s a lot.
Spencer opens on November 5.
Correction: An earlier version of this article misspelled Kristen Stewart’s name as Kirsten. We regret the error.