'The Crown': Gillian Anderson to Play Margaret Thatcher

The actress, currently starring on Netflix's 'Sex Education,' will likely have a two-season arc should her deal close.
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Gillian Anderson

Netflix's The Crown may have found its Margaret Thatcher.

Gillian Anderson, currently starring on the streamer's breakout Sex Education, is near a deal to play the British prime minister on the awards-season drama from showrunner Peter Morgan.

Netflix declined comment as Anderson's deal — in the works since last April — has not yet closed, sources say.

The third season will focus on "the Wilson era," aka the 1964-1970 and 1974-1976 terms of Prime Minister Howard Wilson, and the fourth will focus on Margaret Thatcher and Princess Diana. The drama, whose sophomore run wrapped in December 2017, has already been renewed for seasons three and four. Season three is expected to air sometime in 2019. It's unclear if Thatcher will appear in both season three and season four as the Netflix drama from Sony TV recasts every two seasons as it tells the decades-long story of the royals. Netflix content chief Ted Sarandos said the plan is for the series to run for six seasons total and cover the Queen's entire life.

Season three will see Olivia Colman take over Claire Foy's role as Queen Elizabeth. Tobias Menzies will step into the role of Prince Philip, previously played by Matt Smith. And Helena Bonham Carter replaces Vanessa Kirby as Princess Margaret.

Should Anderson's deal close, she would join franchise newcomers Emerald Fennell as Camilla Parker Bowles.

Anderson, best known for The X-Files, is with WME, Independent Talent Group and Untitled.