Jessica Chastain (Take Shelter, The Help, The Tree of Life) has played a number of roles in her career, but she has yet to play a Princess until now. IndieWire is reporting that she will play Princess Diana in Caught in Flight, "a controversial love story based on a real-life affair that the princess long kept under wraps." Steven Jeffreys (The Libertine) penned the script.
Oliver Hirschbiegel (Downfall, The Invasion) is attached to direct the film, which revolves around "a secret affair between the late princess and a heart surgeon, Dr. Hasnat Kahn, who was said to be the love of her life. The story is described as a “love story between a princess locked in a tower and an ordinary man.” Pre-production is slated to start in March 2012, with filming to take place in Pakistan, Angola, the South of France and Paris. Ecosse Films (Nowhere Boy and Mrs. Brown) is overseeing production on the film that is budgeted at GBP 9 million ($15 million).
Here is the story of how Princess Di met Dr. Hasnat:
The princess met Dr. Hasnat at the Royal Brompton Hospital in 1995 when she was visiting a friend who was recovering from heart surgery. The couple pursued a quiet two-year affair. Dr. Kahn, who she named “Mr. Wonderful,” maintained an eleven-year silence over the relationship, until he spoke The Telegraph about the affair in 2008. In the article, the relationship is described as being so serious that Diana was thinking of converting to Islam. She wore traditional dress to meet his family on a visit to Pakistan. “The Khans are deeply religious,” the newspaper reported, and “his wall-hangings include a painting that has an inscription of verses from the Koran.” Dr Khan left Britain in 2007. Diana is said to have been heartbroken that he wanted to end the relationship.
The film reportedly does not portray the late Princess Di in a favorable light; she is shown as a damaged person who stalks the doctor after he ends the affair. Pathe had been trying to get a biopic of Princess Diana going with Keira Knightley in the role.
I think that Chastain is a solid actress and will do very well in this role. It will be interesting to see this story unfold on the big screen. What are your thoughts?