Star Naomi to play Princess Diana in new movie
HOLLYWOOD star Naomi Watts is to play Princess Diana in a film examining the last two years of her life.
It will focus on a period prior to her death in August 1997 in which she had found "true personal happiness".
The film is being made by director Oliver Hirschbiegel, best known for his film about the final days of Hitler, Downfall.
The movie, Caught In Flight, is being made by UK-based Ecosse Films.
British-born Watts, who emigrated to Australia in her teens, landed an Oscar nomination for her role in 21 Grams. She is also known for her roles in King Kong and Mulholland Drive as well as her TV ad for Thierry Mugler perfume. She said: "It is such 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."
Watts will begin work on the film later this year.
Film makers said the biopic "charts how finding true personal happiness for the first time allowed her to achieve her defining successes evolving into a major international campaigner and humanitarian".
A spokesman for the film was unable to say whether it would include her relationship with Dodi Fayed. Hirschbiegel said: "I am delighted to have such a truly exceptional actress who embodies the warmth, humanity and empathy of such a global icon as Princess Diana."
Actress Jessica Chastain had previously been in talks to take the role of Diana. Last year the late Princess was played by Lesley Harcourt in a US TV drama about Prince William and Kate Middleton.
In the 2006 movie The Queen she was played by a French lookalike.
The new film is based on a screenplay by playwright Stephen Jeffreys, who previously penned the script for the 2004 Johnny Depp film The Libertine.