Berlin 2012: Naomi Watts Cast to Play Princess Diana in Big-Screen Biopic

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Oliver Hirschbiegel's movie is being touted to buyers as the EFM in Berlin gets into its stride.

BERLIN — Naomi Watts has signed to play British icon Princess Diana in Oliver Hirschbiegel's big-screen portrait Caught in Flight.

The movie is being touted to buyers in Berlin by producers Ecosse Films, the U.K. production and finance banner behind a host of movies including Charlotte Gray, Becoming Jane and Brideshead Revisited.

Tim Haslam, the former CEO of Hanway Films, is handling worldwide sales via his upstart company Embankment Films.

Hirschbiegel will direct Watts based on the screenplay by Stephen Jeffreys (The Libertine), with production set to begin this year in the U.K..

Billed as a compelling portrait of the Princess of Wales during the last two years of her life, the script charts her search for personal happiness as she turns into a major international campaigner and humanitarian.

Watts, who will next be seen starring in The Impossible opposite Ewan McGregor, described her casting as "an honor 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 onscreen."

Hirschbiegel said Watts has enough in her acting armory to embody "the warmth, humanity and empathy of such a global icon as Princess Diana."