Kristen Stewart's casting as Princess Diana met with confusion

The announcement revealing Kristen Stewart will portray late British royal Diana, Princess of Wales in a new movie has divided social media users.

On Wednesday, editors at Deadline reported that the Twilight actress would be playing the royal in Pablo Larrain's Spencer, which will focus on her decision to end her marriage to Prince Charles.

The casting news proved controversial on Twitter, particularly among British people, who weren't thrilled with an American being given the role.

"I'm sorry Kristen while she is a good actress simply isn't the right fit for this role... Diana was class and elegance Kristen is the complete opposite of that," one user wrote, while another posted, "Princess Diana is rolling in her grave! Can we get a petition to prevent this from actually happening?"

Another suggested British actress Emma Watson would be a "better fit" for the role.

On the flipside, verified film critics noted that Stewart understands Diana's relationship with the press and will be able to use that for her performance. They also praised the way in which Larrain depicted former US First Lady Jackie Kennedy's life in 2016's Jackie.

"Kristen Stewart playing a famous woman who was doggedly pursued by a press that made a savage feast out of her personal life? I think she'll be able to tap into that," wrote Kristy Puchko.

"Kristen Stewart playing Princess Diana in a PABLO FREAKIN' LARRAÍN FILM? Apocalypse cancelled!" wrote The Telegraph's Robbie Collin, while Variety's Guy Lodge added, "It's funny how Pablo Larraín's name changes the headline 'Kristen Stewart to star as Princess Diana' into very good news."

And Leslie Carroll, author of Diana and Charles: Royal Affairs and Notorious Royal Marriages, defended the casting of an American, telling Fox News, "If she can embody Diana's body language and convey her famous breathy, posh Sloane Ranger voice, it won't matter where she was born."

However, Neil Sean, the author of The A to Z of Harry and Meghan, told the publication: "The casting of one of the world's most famous women in Stewart just shows how out of tune the makers are with what the public's image and above all love for such a great lady is."

Production on Spencer is due to begin in early 2021.

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