Royal watchers hoping The Crown might be extended to include Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s “Megxit” or the fallout from Prince Andrew’s relationship with Jeffrey Epstein are set to be disappointed.
Netflix’s hit drama series about the British royal family will end with season five, creator and showrunner Peter Morgan has revealed, with Imelda Staunton confirmed as taking the golden baton from Olivia Colman as Queen Elizabeth for the final season.
“At the outset I had imagined The Crown running for six seasons but now that we have begun work on the stories for season five it has become clear to me that this is the perfect time and place to stop,” said Morgan. “I’m grateful to Netflix and Sony for supporting me in this decision.”
Morgan added that he was “absolutely thrilled” that Staunton — a British stage and screen icon with a career spanning four decades, five Olivier awards, a BAFTA award and an Oscar nomination (for 2004’s Vera Drake) — would be “taking The Crown into the 21st Century.”
“I have loved watching The Crown from the very start,” said Staunton, recently seen in the Downton Abbey movie alongside her husband, Jim Carter (who plays Mr. Carson).
“As an actor it was a joy to see how both Claire Foy and Olivia Colman brought something special and unique to Peter Morgan’s scripts. I am genuinely honoured to be joining such an exceptional creative team and to be taking The Crown to its conclusion.”
Produced for Netflix by the Sony-owned Brit banner Left Bank Pictures, The Crown became one of the SVOD giant’s most defining prestige dramas when it first aired in 2016, while coming to underline the company’s commitment to big-budget production spend in the U.K., where it now has a major presence.
Among its sizeable haul of honors across the first two seasons are back-to-back SAG awards for Foy, a SAG award for John Lithgow, who played Winston Churchill, Golden Globe wins (best television series – drama, and best actress – television series drama for Foy), plus a total of 26 Primetime Emmy noms.
Season three — which arrived on Netflix in December — has already won Colman (who took over from Foy as Queen Elizabeth) a Golden Globe, while the show itself was awarded the SAG award for outstanding performance by an ensemble in a drama series.
“The first three seasons of The Crown defined an era, and I know the upcoming fourth season will build further on that success,” said Netflix vp, original content Cindy Holland.
“It’s a stunning example of award-winning entertainment, created in the U.K. and loved by millions of fans around the world. I fully support Peter Morgan’s creative decision and am excited to see how he, Imelda Staunton and the cast and crew of season five, bring this landmark series to a fitting and spectacular end.”
Morgan previously talked about his original pitch for The Crown and the future of the series in a November episode of The Hollywood Reporter‘s TV’s Top 5 podcast. Listen to that interview, which starts at the 32:16 mark, below.