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Monday, 18 March, 2002, 14:24 GMT
Prince William movie 'planned'
Prince William
Prince William: The focus of media attention
A "coming of age" TV movie about Prince William is to be made by American network ABC, it has been reported.

It will focus on the prince "dealing with" adolescence and becoming an adult and the producers are said to have launched a hunt to find a British actor to play the young royal.


It terrifies you that you're going to do something that will feel exploitative

David Madden, Fox

The film's story is expected to begin with the aftermath of the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, in Paris in 1997.

David Madden, executive vice president of Fox TV Pictures, told trade newspaper Hollywood Reporter he was worried about the prospect of the film when first approached.

The film is reportedly being made for ABC's Wonderful World of Disney franchise.

"Anytime you go near royal family or celebrities of that ilk, it terrifies you that you're going to do something that will feel exploitative or just tabloid-ish or scandal-mongering," Mr Madden said.

'Adolescence'

Aides for the prince at St James's Palace declined to comment on the production but the Press Association reported that privately royal aides are understood to be "disappointed" at the "insensitivity" of the film.

Mr Madden said: "We basically took the tack that we were going to do a true coming-of-age of a kid who is going through, in some ways, all of the things that every kid goes through of dealing with adolescence, coming of sexuality and dealing with your dad."

A script for the project has been finished and Michael Watkins is expected to direct the film, on location in either England or Ireland.

The producers and director are now looking for a young British actor to play Prince William.

Arrangement

"On a much smaller level, we'll do our little version of trying to find Harry Potter," Mr Madden said.

It was also reported that the movie will be shown on ABC in October.

Prince William is in the first year of an art history degree at St Andrews University in Scotland and has received a lot of media attention despite an arrangement between his aides and the press.

Controversy erupted over filming at St Andrews by Ardent Productions, run by his uncle Prince Edward, in alleged breach of the privacy agreement.

But Ardent Productions said Prince William's privacy was "never in danger of being breached" and the television company "utterly respect the need for him to be left alone to undertake his studies in private".

Prince Edward has since given up his business career to devote his time to royal duties.

See also:

01 Oct 01 | Scotland
Edward hands over 'William film'
20 Sep 01 | Scotland
Students urged to show 'Willpower'
27 Sep 01 | Scotland
TV firm issues William apology
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