'The Crown': Paul Bettany Near Deal to Play Prince Philip

Paul Bettany _ Prince Philip - Getty - H 2018
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Updated, Jan. 25: Sources confirm that Paul Bettany had a scheduling conflict and is no longer able to take over the role of Prince Philip for the previously announced third season of the Netflix drama. 

From Jan. 20:

Paul Bettany is near a deal to play Prince Philip on Netflix's The Crown, sources tell The Hollywood Reporter.

The Avengers star would take over the role from Matt Smith, who played the prince on the first two seasons of the drama opposite Claire Foy as Queen Elizabeth II. 

When the series from Peter Morgan returns for season three, a new cast will rotate in, including Olivia Colman as Her Royal Majesty, as the show turns to the later lives of the royal family. Helena Bonham Carter has also been cast as Princess Margaret. 

On the first two seasons, the royal couple (Foy and Smith) were joined by Victoria Hamilton as the Queen Mother and Jeremy Northam as Anthony Eden. Season two dropped last month on Netflix.

Netflix and producers Sony Pictures Television Studios declined comment as a deal has not officially been closed.

TV Line was first to report Bettany's conflict.