Controversial Princess Diana Documentary Heading to Theaters (Exclusive)

9:02 AM PST 06/23/2011 by Pamela McClintock
Tim Graham/Tim Graham Photo Library/Getty Images

Keith Allen's "Unlawful Killing," financed by Dodi Al-Fayed's billionaire father, Mohamed, has lined up several distribution deals.

The controversial documentary alleging a cover-up following the 1997 deaths of Princess Diana and Dodi Al-Fayed is getting closer to being seen by the public.

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Keith Allen's Unlawful Killing, financed by Al-Fayed's billionaire father, Mohamed, has secured key distribution deals in several territories, including Russia, Spain and Benelux (Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg) after screening for buyers and receiving mixed reviews at the Cannes Film Festival in May. (Read THR's review here.)

There's also active interest in the U.S., according to producers, though no deal has closed.

At the heart of Killing is a 2007 inquest and subsequent ruling that Diana and Dodi were killed because of the gross negligence of limousine driver Henri Paul and the paparazzi who chased the couple. But Allen, who covertly observed the inquest proceedings, paints a radically different picture, demonstrating a conspiracy to hide key facts from a complicit British media.

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Mohamed Al-Fayed, who has long blamed the royal family for the death of his son, decided to finance the project after Allen was turned down by British film companies and broadcasters.

Conor Nolan, who works for Al-Fayed's production company, flew to the U.S. in early June to meet with potential buyers. He told The Hollywood Reporter that he has received a few offers and that the film played well during a Nielsen Media Research screening.

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"We're determined to have a major North American release, whether in theaters or on television," said Nolan, adding that distributors in Japan, Italy and Australia are also interested.

Killing, critical of the royal family, will not be allowed to air in the U.K. unless 87 cuts are made to comply with the nation's libel laws.

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