Paul Bettany in talks to play The Crown’s Prince Philip
VOD News | On 22, Jan 2018
With Olivia Colman and Helena Bonham Carter in place to inherit Netflix’s The Crown, there’s been one question plaguing fans of the royal drama in recent weeks: who will play Prince Philip?
The streaming giant’s lavish production charts the reign of Queen Elizabeth II, from her childhood and coronation to the decades that followed, all supported by her husband, Prince Philip. Creator Peter Morgan has made no secret of the fact that the cast will change for the third run onwards, as the characters age – bidding farewell to Claire Foy’s award-winning turn as Elizabeth and Vanessa Kirby’s charming Princess Margaret.
Matt Smith’s petulant Philip, who grown from self-centred man to supportive husband, has been an increasingly important figure in the biopic, particularly in the show’s second season. If there were any doubts about being able to replace him, though, Netflix’s pick for the part should put all fears immediately at ease: Variety reports that Paul Bettany is now in talks for the role.
The British actor will be known to film and TV fans around the world for his roles in Marvel’s blockbusters, and will soon appear in Solo: A Star Wars Story, but he’s no stranger to smaller dramas and historical roles, impressing in roles such as Charles Darwin over his diverse career. He’s also no stranger to Netflix, delivering a brilliant performance in Manhunt: Unabomber in recent weeks.
Now, Variety has confirmed that he is lined up to replace Smith, marking the latest piece of high quality, high profile casting for the series. Colman, Bonham Carter and Bettany? That really would be a royal flush for Britain’s top talent.
Helena Bonham Carter to play The Crown’s Princess Margaret
6th January 2018
Helena Bonham Carter is reportedly lined up to play Princess Margaret in Netflix’s The Crown.
The streaming giant’s royal drama stars Claire Foy and Matt Smith as Queen Elizabeth II and her husband, Prince Philip, but while they have won audience affection and awards acclaim over two seasons, series creator Peter Morgan has made no secret of the fact that the cast will change for the third run onwards, as the characters age. Last year, Netflix announced that Olivia Colman will replace Claire Foy as Elizabeth – and now, the Evening Standard reports that her sister, Margaret, is close to being cast.
“We are told that Helena Bonham Carter is all but confirmed to play the inimitable royal,” says the Standard. Bonham Carter, who has played the full gamut of roles from Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd to the Queen Mother in The King’s Speech, would be a natural choice to step into the shoes of Vanessa Kirby, capable of bringing enough humour, edginess and decadence to the royal role. And with everything from Liz Taylor (in Burton and Taylor) to A Room with a Review on her CV, she’s also comfortable in period drama.
She is no stranger to the world of royalty in real life, either, her home in Oxfordshire was once owned by Jane Stevens, Princess Margaret’s former lady-in-waiting.
Olivia Colman to replace Claire Foy as The Crown’s Queen Elizabeth
27th October 2017
The Crown Season 2 arrives later this year, but the return of Netflix’s lavish royal drama comes with a sad note, as it as also marks the last time that we will see Claire Foy and Matt Smith as Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip.
The pair have won viewers over across the UK with their portrayal of the royal couple, but the series’ sheer scale means that they can’t continue to play those roles forever. Creator Peter Morgan confirmed when the first season was released that the programme would need to recast those leads to keep up with its characters’ ages – and with Season 2 taking the royal couple up to 1964, Season 3 onwards will require a new head wearing the crown.
“We couldn’t go any further than where we get to at the end of Season 2 with Claire and Matt,” he told us in an interview. “We need to get a middle-aged Queen. In fact, a middle-aged everybody. And that could be an exciting challenge. It would feel like a different show.”
Who could possibly replace Claire Foy as Queen Elizabeth? Netflix has found a more-than-worthy successor: Olivia Colman.
Deadline confirms that Colman will take on the role, as the actor’s star continues to rise higher and higher. After roles in such films as Tyrannosaur and Cuban Fury, and such TV shows as Broadchurch, Colman has become a veritable national treasure. She recently won a Golden Globe for her role in The Night Manager, a co-production between the BBC and AMC. Season 3 of The Crown would mark the second time she has played a royal, following a part as Queen Elizabeth’s mother in Hyde Park on Hudson.
Netflix has not officially ordered a third or fourth season of The Crown yet, but the show is expected to continue, with Foy herself already winning an Emmy for her lead role in Season 1, as well as a Golden Globe.
Season 2 of The Crown premieres on Friday 8th December. You can watch the trailer and read more about that here.
Claire Foy pays tribute to Queen Elizabeth as The Crown looks to future seasons
9th January 2017
Claire Foy hailed Best Actress in a Drama Series at the 2017 Golden Globes, thanks to her performance as Queen Elizabeth II in The Crown. Netflix’s royal drama swept the nation away when it premiered last year, chronicling the rise of the young Elizabeth following the death of her father, and her relationship with Winston Churchill.
John Lithgow was also nominated for his turn as the former Prime Minister, while the show took home the Best Drama prize overall – Netflix’s first major series win at the Globes. (See the full list of winners.)
Speaking to the press, Foy paid tribute to the real life Queen, thanking the monarch in both her speech and in her backstage press interviews.
On stage, she called Elizabeth II “extraordinary”, celebrating the fact that she “has been at the centre of the world for 63 years”.
“I think the world could do with a few more women at the centre of it, if you ask me,” she added.
When asked what she’d say to Elizabeth II, Foy joked that she’d want to know if she’d seen the show.
“I’d just like to hear her talk for about two hours. That would be nice,” she said.
Foy, who beat Stranger Things’ Winona Ryder and Westworld’s Evan Rachel Wood to take the prize, also singled out Lithgow and Matt Smith for their performances.
Lithgow was trumped by The Night Manager’s Hugh Laurie in the Supporting Actor category, but said the popularity of Netflix’s show was “astonishing”.
“It delights all of us,” he told the press. “We knew we were doing something fine – from day one, we knew this was going to be extraordinary, but we didn’t dream it would so popular globally.”
The show is currently filming its second season, with Foy and Smith returning as Elizabeth and Prince Philip. With the Queen still going strong today, though, the programme could continue with many more seasons to come – and, after Season 2, will need to recast its leads to keep up with the characters’ ages.
Series creator Peter Morgan confirmed to the press that the next run will take the royal couple up to 1964.
“We leave behind a certain kind of Britain and we enter a new Britain,” he commented. “At the end of Season 2, we will have to start thinking about a new cast because our cast will reach a limit about what they can play.”
The future, he admitted, was daunting.
“The danger of writing a story about someone with a long life is that the story goes on and on and on,” he joked.