Neon and Topic Studios have acquired the U.S. rights to Pablo Larraín’s “Spencer,” starring Kristen Stewart as Princess Diana, out of the virtual Cannes market for $4 million, an individual with knowledge of the deal told TheWrap.
Steven Knight (“Peaky Blinders,” “Taboo”) wrote the screenplay, and production is set to begin in early 2021. Larraín (“Jackie”) is producing alongside Juan de Dios Larraín through their Fabula banner. Jonas Dornbach, Janine Jackowski and Paul Webster are also producing.
Jeff Deutchman negotiated the deal for Neon alongside Ryan Heller for Topic Studios with CAA Media Finance and Endeavor Content on behalf of the filmmakers. FilmNation Entertainment is handling international rights. The film was introduced to buyers at the Cannes virtual market. The film will be released by Neon — a release date will be announced soon.
“Spencer” will look at Princess Diana over the course of one of her final Christmas holidays with the House of Windsor in their legendary Sandringham estate.
Neon has been aggressive at recent festivals, acquiring hot projects like “Palm Springs” (in collaboration with Hulu) in a record-breaking deal, as well as the hot documentary “Spaceship Earth” at Sundance this year. The distributor, founded by Tom Quinn and Tim League in 2017, is also coming off the success of “Parasite,” which won Best Picture as well as Best International Feature Film at the Oscars this year. Topic Studios’ credits include “Spotlight” and “The Fight.”
Stewart most recently starred in “Seberg” and “Charlie’s Angels” as well as “Underwater” and is currently in post-production for “Happiest Season” alongside Alison Brie, Aubrey Plaza and Dan Levy. Larraín’s credits include “Jackie,” which was about Jackie Kennedy, as well as “Ema” and “Neruda.”
Larraín is represented by CAA and Management 360, while Stewart is represented by WME, McKuin Frankel Whitehead, LLP, and Viewpoint. Knight is represented by United Agents and Nelson Davis.