A few months ago, it seemed as if Jessica Chastain‘s next big role would be Princess Diana in the less-than-flattering biopic Caught in Flight. But now The Hollywood Reporter has announced that Naomi Watts will be taking on the iconic role instead. Last we heard, Naomi was going to play Marilyn Monroe, with production starting in January 2012, but perhaps because Michelle Williams‘ My Week with Marilyn surged ahead and earned its star some nominations, there’s been no development on that front.
While Jessica Chastain never actually released a statement about her supposed casting, Naomi has already said that it’s “an honour to be able to play this iconic role—Princess Diana was loved across the world, and I look forward to rising to the challenge of playing her on screen.” Director Oliver Hirschbiegel says that Naomi embodies “the warmth, humanity and empathy of such a global icon as Princess Diana,” especially since the film focuses on the last years of her life and her charity work.
Ironically, there’s another Diana project competing with Caught in Flight: Both Charlize Theron and Carey Mulligan are being considered for a movie about the relationship between Diana and her bodyguard—Naomi’s The Impossible co-star Ewan McGregor is being considered for the bodyguard. It’ll be interesting to see if one of the projects withers on the vine, as happened with the Marilyn movies, or if they’ll get released at the same time but with drastically different takes on the main character, like Snow White and the Huntsman vs. Mirror Mirror.