In a move likely to ruffleestablishment feathers in the UK, Stephen Frears is going ahead with TheQueen, his long-gestating featureabout the death of Princess Diana, "the people's princess."

Co-financed by Pathe Pictures and Granada Screen, The Queen is scheduled to shoot in September. It is likely toair first on TV in the UK before being released theatrically in the rest of theworld. Pathe International is handling world sales.

Scripted by Peter Morgan, The Queenis set in the week between Diana's death and her funeral and explores therelationship between Tony Blair and the British Royal Family during that time.Helen Mirren has been strongly tipped to play Queen Elizabeth while MichaelSheen is in the frame to reprise his role as Tony Blair (he also played the UKPrime Minister in Frears' TV film, The Deal.)
Pathe Pictures has also announced new documentary Deep Water, billed as a waterworld counterpart to Pathe's TouchingThe Void. The film follows DonaldCrowhurst, a free-thinking electronics inventor who entered the first SundayTimes Golden Globe, solo, non-stop, round-the-world boat race.

Meanwhile, Pathe International has acquired three newprojects. It is to handle Ken Loach's Irish Civil War drama, The Wind ThatShakes The Barley. Pathe is alsohandling sales on Adam Curtis's BBC documentary series-turned-Cannes featuredoc, The Power Of Nightmares,alongside Mischief Night, the newfeature from Penny Woolcock.

These three pick-upsfollow on the back of Neil Marshall's horror film, The Descent, which Pathe acquired from Celador Films earlier thisyear.