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Spencer release date and everything we know so far

Spencer release date and more
(Image credit: Neon)

If you've been desperately awaiting details on Spencer — the new Princess Diana biopic — you're in luck. While information and sneak peeks have been pretty hard to come by thus far, now that we're getting closer to the release date, the studio behind the film has decided to be generous and give us even more to be excited about. 

The People's Princess will always have a place in the hearts of people around the world, and no doubt Spencer will show us a different side to Diana and some of the internal life that made her such a complex and interesting character. 

Here's what we know about Spencer so far. 

Spencer release date

It’s hard to believe that Spencer was first announced more than a year ago, but after what feels like an interminable wait, the release date is finally upon us. Spencer's world premiere will happen at the Venice Film Festival on September 3. However, most audiences will need to wait until the theatrical release, which is scheduled for November 5, nearly two months later. 

Spencer teaser trailer

Neon, the studio behind Spencer, finally released a first-look trailer for the movie on August 26. While only a little over a minute long, the teaser gives audiences a glimpse inside Sandringham and Diana's life at the time. Overhead and intimate shorts of the luxurious life she lived is presented before we get glimpses of Stewart brooding as Diana. 

When asked if "they know everything?" Diana replies, "they don't." It's enough to whet our appetites for the real thing when it comes out. Thankfully, there's not too much longer to wait. 

Spencer poster

Spencer poster

(Image credit: Neon via Twitter)

While there's still a bit of a wait ahead, the studio recently released a teaser poster for Spencer to get fans excited for what's to come. The poster, which gives a bit of detail of one of the dresses in the film, as Stewart/Diana hides her face, is captioned "Every fairy tale ends. Kristen Stewart is Diana Spencer. A glimpse at Pablo Larraín's SPENCER."

No doubt we'll get more of a sneak peak as we get closer to the movie hitting theaters.

Spencer filming

With the release date only a few months away, it only makes sense that production would be pretty much complete on Spencer. We do know that principal photography took place around February, as Stewart was photographed in costume at the Schlosshotel Kronberg in Germany, the location doubling as the infamous Sandringham. 

According to Harper's Bazaar, Spencer recently wrapped up production in the United Kingdom as well, meaning the finishing touches are likely being applied ahead of the Venice premiere. 

Spencer definitely presented Stewart with a role in which preparation was key, though she was excited for the challenge. "I haven't been this excited about playing a part, by the way, in so long," she told InStyle in November 2020 about playing Diana. 

However, it also came with its challenges, particularly when it came to getting Diana's voice down perfectly. "The accent is intimidating as all hell because people know that voice, and it's so, so distinct and particular. I'm working on it now and already have my dialect coach," she said ahead of filming.

Spencer cast

The role of Princess Diana is a tricky one to cast as she was such a legendary figure that there's bound to be a high level of scrutiny for whatever actress gets the role. However, if anyone's up for the job, it's Kristen Stewart, who will play the People's Princess alongside Jack Farthing as Prince Charles. 

In addition, Thomas Douglas will play Diana's father, Earl John Spencer, while Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, will be portrayed by newcomer Olga Hellsing. Timothy Spall, Sally Hawkins, and Sean Harris will also appear in Spencer, though it's unclear in what capacity as their specific roles have not yet been announced. 

Spencer plot 

Given how much happened in Diana's life, it would be hard to create an all-encompassing biopic, which is why it's such a relief that Spencer will instead focus on one Christmas holiday spent at the Queen's beloved country retreat, Sandringham, in the 1990s. This particular holiday was notable as it's believed to be when Diana decided she wanted to end her marriage to Prince Charles. 

The specifics of the timeline in Spencer are a bit blurry around the edges, but that doesn't matter. Instead, director Pablo Larraín wants to focus on Diana's feelings at the time and the big event that would shift everything. "It’s very contained," Larraín told Deadline. “They spent Christmas there for many years and that’s where we set the movie in the early ’90s, around 1992, we’re not specific. It’s Christmas Eve, Christmas and Boxing Day… We get to understand what it is she wants and what she will do."

Spencer will also highlight Diana's close relationship with her sons, Prince William and Prince Harry and how much she loved them. "The key is how she discovers during the process of the movie that what she really needs to do is be who she wants to be," Larraín explained. "And by that, it doesn’t mean she needs to be next to anyone, to be part of anything, but herself and her own children. Diana was many things, but chief among them, she was a great mother."

Larraín was clear that with Spencer, the script's writer (Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight), had no interest in Diana's later life and the accident that took her life. "She died years after where our story is set and so we don’t deal with that," he said. "It’s only three days of her life and in that very small amount of time, you’re able to get into a wider, bigger perspective of who she was. We all know her fate… and we don’t need to go there."

Jennifer Still

Jennifer is a writer and editor from Brooklyn covering all things entertainment, lifestyle, and tech. She has bylines in Vanity Fair, Business Insider, Glamour, Bon Appetit, Decider, and many more and spends her days writing about all the shows, movies, and music she's obsessed with. She's always fuelled by iced coffee and hates slow walkers.