While we're still at least a year away from The Crown Season 5 landing on our TV screens, we're already getting excited about what else is set to come from the brilliant royal drama. But the most important question is: who is going to be taking over from the season three and four cast? Here's everything we know so far about The Crown season five, from the incoming actors to the release date and potential plot lines.
Who will star in The Crown season 5?
In line with previous seasons, The Crown season 5 will see the Queen and Prince Philip recast. On January 31st 2020, Netflix confirmed Imelda Staunton, who starred in Nanny McPhee and played Dolores Umbridge in Harry Potter, would be taking over from Olivia Colman as the Queen.
Speaking about the role, Imelda said: "I have loved watching The Crown from the very start. As an actor it was a joy to see how both Claire Foy and Olivia Colman brought something special and unique to Peter Morgan's scripts. I am genuinely honoured to be joining such an exceptional creative team and to be taking The Crown to its conclusion."
News: Imelda Staunton (!) will play Queen Elizabeth II (!!) in the fifth and final season of The Crown (!!!) pic.twitter.com/WFD8x6vMMU
— Netflix UK & Ireland (@NetflixUK) January 31, 2020
While show creator Peter Morgan added: "I’m absolutely thrilled to confirm Imelda Staunton as Her Majesty The Queen for the fifth and final season, taking The Crown into the 21st century. Imelda is an astonishing talent and will be a fantastic successor to Claire Foy and Olivia Colman."
Dame Helen Mirren was also thought to be in the running, but when asked if she wanted the role, she replied: "I don’t think so. I think it’s more interesting when you see other portraits and it builds into a more interesting picture than just someone coming back."
In August 2020 it was revealed Elizabeth Debicki, famous for her roles in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2, The Night Manager, Widows and Tenet, will be taking over from Emma Corrin as Princess Diana. More recently, Corrin told Vulture she'd be happy to share some advice with her successor when it comes to the role.
"Make it your own. Put blinkers on for the rest of the world and for the pressure," Corrin explained. "Grab onto things that resonate with you, that you relate to, or that you empathise with. And always trust the script. It won't let you down."
The new Prince Philip has also been cast, with Oscar-nominated Game of Thrones star Jonathan Pryce set to take over from Tobias Menzies in seasons 5 and 6, Deadline reported. The actor played the High Sparrow in Game Of Thrones and was nominated for an Oscar for his role as Pope Francis in The Two Popes.
"I am delighted to be working with Netflix again," he said. "The positive experience I had making The Two Popes has given me the confidence to tackle the daunting prospect of portraying Prince Philip."
Meanwhile, Lesley Manville will play the Queen's younger sister Princess Margaret. "I could not be happier to be playing Princess Margaret," the Phantom Thread star shared. "The baton is being passed on from two formidable actresses and I really don't want to let the side down. Furthermore, to play siblings with my dear friend Imelda Staunton will be nothing short of a complete joy."
When will The Crown season 5 be released?
Netflix has revealed that the acclaimed period drama won't be returning for season 5 until 2022, as filming hasn't even started yet. The streaming service confirmed via Deadline that Staunton's first series as Queen Elizabeth II will begin production in June 2021, meaning a release date any time before late 2022 isn't on the cards.
According to the publication, the break was always part of The Crown's plan going forward and has nothing to do with coronavirus putting production on hold.
This vaguely makes sense - season 1 was released in November 2016 and season 2 in December 2017, while The Crown season 3 came in November 2019 and The Crown season 4 landed November 2020.
What will happen in The Crown season 5?
Season five will look at the lives and loves of the Royal Family in the 90s and into the 00s. The Queen's speech given on the 40th anniversary of her succession will no doubt be a key feature in the upcoming series.
"1992 is not a year on which I shall look back with undiluted pleasure. In the words of one of my more sympathetic correspondents, it has turned out to be an 'Annus Horribilis'," she famously said.
The events of that year include the publication of Princess Diana's bombshell, tell-all book, Diana: Her True Story, which documented her marriage troubles with Prince Charles.
Prince Andrew also separated from Sarah Ferguson in March of 1992 and Princess Anne divorced Captain Mark Phillips.
The storyline will also inevitably include the passing of Diana, Princess of Wales - the late mother of Princes William and Harry – in a car accident in 1997.
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