12:00pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
'The Crown' Creator Inks Netflix Film and TV Overall Deal
Netflix is keeping Peter Morgan in-house.
The creator and showrunner behind the streamer's award-winning drama The Crown has signed an overall deal to remain in business with the company.
Under the multiyear pact, Morgan — whose credits include the features Frost/Nixon, The Queen and The Last King of Scotland — will create and develop both new TV series and feature films for Netflix. The timing of the deal arrives as The Crown is set to return Nov. 17 for its third season. The royal drama has already been renewed for a fourth run as part of a larger six-season plan that includes recasting the central roles of Queen Elizabeth and company every two seasons. (Olivia Colman, for example, will take over for Claire Foy in the central role of Elizabeth when season three debuts next month.)
The Crown has become the poster child for Netflix's critically praised, high-end scripted originals. The series has earned Emmy and Golden Globe wins for lead actress Foy and supporting actor John Lithgow while scoring nominations for outstanding drama series in each of its first two seasons. Seasons one and two castmembers Matt Smith, Vanessa Kirby and Matthew Goode — who have all been recast for seasons three and four — all also scored acting noms. The drama has a 90 percent fresh rating for seasons one and two on Rotten Tomatoes. (Netflix, like other streamers, does not release viewership information.)
For his part, Morgan has written every episode of The Crown's first two seasons and remains the creative force behind the drama. His writing credits also include Bohemian Rhapsody (story by), Rush, The Other Boleyn Girl, The Last King of Scotland, The Queen and Frost/Nixon. He has earned Oscar writing nominations for Frost/Nixon and The Queen.
At Netflix, Morgan joins a rapidly growing roster of producers with overall deals including Shonda Rhimes, Ryan Murphy, Kenya Barris, Jenji Kohan and the Obamas, among others.
Season three of The Crown will feature Tobias Menzies taking over the role of Prince Philip (replacing Smith) and Helena Bonham Carter as Princess Margaret (replacing Kirby). Emma Corrin and Gillian Anderson will join the cast in season four as Princess Diana and Margaret Thatcher, respectively.
The deal was brokered by Morgan's U.K.-based lawyers Lee & Thompson.