'Spencer' Producer Recalls Stressful Time in Getting British Funders to Back Princess Diana Biopic
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Paul Webster, the man behind 'Atonement', admits he broke his own rules in funding development and early pre-production when financiers failed to see the power in Pablo Larrain's movie.

AceShowbiz - The producer of upcoming Princess Diana biopic, "Spencer", had to sink his own money into the film's pre-production when British funders refused to back the project.

Paul Webster, the man behind British movie hits "Pride And Prejudice" and "Atonement", broke his own rules when financiers failed to see the power in Pablo Larrain's movie, starring Kristen Stewart as the doomed royal.

"No British funders came through to support us," he said. "The three producers, myself, Jonas Dornbach of Komplizen in Germany, and Juan Larrain, ended up funding development and early pre-production... That required a lot of belief and faith. It was really stressful. We didn't actually get funding until January, and we shot the movie in February and March this year."

"I was hoping that we'd have proper British money in the film, but for various reasons, nobody bit... Apart from the tax credit, there's not a penny of British money in the film, which is a shame. I'm sad about that because... if the movie's successful, it would be great to feed those institutions that support British film so diligently."

When asked by Film London chief Adrian Wootton if he had any hesitancy in the project, Webster said, "There's a whole industry around Princess Diana, and it doesn't seem to go away. It's nearly 25 years since she passed away, and still she's one of the most recognized faces in the world."

"But that doesn't necessarily translate to bums on seats," he elaborated further. "I think you still have to deliver the goods with the film, and hopefully we do."

And it looks like Webster is sitting on a success story - "Spencer" premiered to rave reviews at the Venice Film Festival in Italy last month (September 2021) and has become one of the most-anticipated films of the autumn, with Stewart picking up Oscar buzz for her role as the title character.

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