10:15pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
It's Official: Netflix Orders Stephen Daldry, Peter Morgan's Royal Drama 'The Crown'
Nearly six months after Netflix eyed a royal drama The Crown, the streaming service is moving forward with the drama series.
Netflix announced late Wednesday that it has handed out a 10-episode series commitment to The Crown, from Academy Award nominees Peter Morgan (The Queen, Frost/Nixon) and Stephen Daldry (Billy Elliot, The Hours) and inspired by the play The Audience.
The play, which bowed in 2013, centers on the weekly audiences given by Queen Elizabeth II to prime ministers that date from her accession in 1952 to the present day. Helen Mirren starred as Queen Elizabeth II, marking her second time in the role after she won the Oscar for the part in Morgan's 2006 feature The Queen.
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The Crown tells the inside story of two of the most famous addresses in the world — Buckingham Palace and 10 Downing Street — as well as the intrigues, love lives and machinations behind the great events that shaped the second half of the 20th century.
Morgan and Daldry will reunite with Left Bank Pictures' Andy Harries (The Queen), to executive produce The Crown alongside Robert Fox and Matthew Byam Shaw. All three produced Morgan's The Audience. Collectively, the trio share six Academy Award nominations. The drama hails from Sony Pictures Television and Left Bank.
Netflix will bow the original drama series in 2016. Each season of The Crown will explore the political rivalries and personal intrigues across a decade of Queen Elizabeth II's reign, exploring the delicate balance between her private world and public life. Season one begins with a 25-year-old princess faced with the daunting prospect of leading the most famous monarchy in the world while forging a relationship with the domineering, war-hardened prime minister, Winston Churchill.
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"The Crown is storytelling that lives somewhere between television and cinema from Britain’s foremost chroniclers of modern politics, class and society,” said Cindy Holland, vp original content at Netflix. "We are enormously proud to be the exclusive home of a series from Peter Morgan and Stephen Daldry that promises to fascinate and entertain audiences around the world."
Left Bank Pictures CEO Harries added: "Queen Elizabeth II has reigned throughout a period of unprecedented cultural and political change and her influence as monarch has been universal. Peter is a writer at the height of his powers and Stephen Daldry is one of the most entertaining and original film directors in the world. The series will be hugely ambitious and surprising, and perfectly captures the changes and complexities of a post war world."
Added Morgan: "The Crown is not only about the royal family but about an empire in decline, a world in disarray and the dawn of a new era. I am beyond thrilled to be reunited with partners from film, theater and television for this epic project and delighted to be working for the first time with Netflix."
Said Daldry: "Peter Morgan's scripts turn a tumultuous period of history into a thrilling story on an epic scale, dealing with both intimate relationships and international affairs. I cannot wait to bring The Crown to life for a global audience on Netflix.”
Morgan is a two-time Oscar nominee for adapting his play Frost/Nixon and penning the original screenplay for The Queen. The Audience adaptation marks his first U.S. TV series, though his British drama The Jury was adapted stateside. He's repped by CAA.
Daldry, who earned three Oscar noms for directing The Reader, The Hours and Billy Elliot, is also with CAA.
The Crown joins a roster of original scripted series at Netflix including Orange Is the New Black, House of Cards, Marco Polo, Grace and Frankie, Narcos, Sens8, Lilyhammer, Hemlock Grove, The Killing, Kyle Chandler's Bloodlines (also from SPT) and its upcoming Marvel slate, among others.