Princess Diana Doc Set for 2022 Theatrical Release, HBO and HBO Max Take U.S. TV, Streaming Rights

Princess Diana - Young England Kindergarten September 1980 - Getty - Embed 2017
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Altitude and Lightbox say the film, to be directed by Ed Perkins, will be the "first theatrical release documentary ever to be made about the Princess of Wales" and mark the 25th anniversary of the her "tragic death."

Altitude and Lightbox on Monday unveiled plans for Diana, a theatrical documentary about Princess Diana.

Directed by Academy Award nominee Ed Perkins (Black Sheep), it is planned for a 2022 release in cinemas.

"After its worldwide theatrical release, the film – produced in association with HBO and Sky – will have its television premiere on HBO and stream on HBO Max in the U.S.; and on Sky Documentaries in the U.K.," the companies said. "Diana is the first theatrical release documentary ever to be made about the Princess of Wales and is slated to open in cinemas worldwide in the summer of 2022 to mark the 25th anniversary of Diana’s tragic death."

Production company Lightbox was founded by producer Simon Chinn (Man on Wire) and producer Jonathan Chinn (Whitney). Studio and U.K. theatrical distributor Altitude is handling global sales and will be releasing the film theatrically in the U.K. and Ireland.

Altitude said it has already pre-sold the film to theatrical buyers in multiple territories, including  Benelux (Piece of Magic), Germany and Austria (Studio Hamburg), Italy (I Wonder Pictures), Portugal (NOS Lusomundo Audiovisuais), Switzerland (Ascot Elite), Czech Republic (AQS), Japan (Tohokushinsha), Australia & New Zealand (Madman), the Middle East (Phars), and Turkey (Filmarti).

"Using a bold and elevated archive-only approach, Diana will draw on thousands of hours of news reports, previously unseen footage and photographs to create an intelligent, layered and powerful film that will become a unique documentary record of the life and times of a global icon," the companies said. "But Diana is not simply the story of the life of a princess and the crisis in the British monarchy which was sparked by her death. The film also turns the camera back on ourselves, to examine wider society at the time to illuminate the profound impact Diana had on ordinary people in Britain and across the world."

They added: "Drawing out wider themes of celebrity culture, media intrusion and our insatiable appetite for voyeurism and the private lives of others, Diana will tell a story which is just a relevant today as it ever was."

Said Perkins: "The life and death of Princess Diana remains one of the defining stories of our times. Though we are telling a story which has been told and re-told many times, my aim is to reframe it for a modern audience and make it feel as fresh and relevant as it ever has.  The idea of taking an archive-only approach will allow us to immerse audiences in the narrative as if it were being told in the present. I want to bring this account of her life to audiences in a more emotional and unmediated way than has been done before and, rather than re-analyzing it or offering another retrospective commentary, I want to invite audiences to bring their own memories and reflections and allow them to see and experience it afresh."