"The Crown" Creator Says The Show Won't End With Season 5 After All

McKenzie Jean-Philippe
Photo credit: Netflix
Photo credit: Netflix

From Oprah Magazine

Calling all fans of The Crown: Boy, do we have some major news for you.

In January, Peter Morgan, creator and showrunner of the Netflix drama, confirmed that the show is indeed making a return following season 4, which was green-lit months ago and reportedly began filming in August 2019 with a wrap date some time in February 2020. The production had even found their Princess Diana, set to be played by actress Emma Corrin. At the time Morgan also confirmed a season 5, but revealed (to the disappointment of fans) that it would be his last, in contrast to his initial plans.

"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," he told The Hollywood Reporter. "I’m grateful to Netflix and Sony for supporting me in this decision."

However, in a wonderful turn of events, six months later Morgan has changed his mind and announced that there will in fact be an additional season.

“As we started to discuss the storylines for Series 5, it soon became clear that in order to do justice to the richness and complexity of the story we should go back to the original plan and do six seasons," he said. "To be clear, Series 6 will not bring us any closer to present-day — it will simply enable us to cover the same period in greater detail.”

This is all a little too much. So before he switches things up again, let's focus on what's to come for season 5.

When will season 5 of The Crown premiere?

Photo credit: Netflix
Photo credit: Netflix

Seeing as we don't yet know the premiere date for season 4, it's literally impossible to say. But that doesn't stop us from guessing. Season 1 premiered in 2016 and season 2 in 2017, while season 3 took a little longer to return to us with a 2019 release date. That means season 4 could come back anywhere between 2020 and 2021, which would set season 5's debut sometime between 2021 and 2022.

2020 just arrived, so jthe thought of waiting as long as two years for the last season is...a bit much. But we'll be watching right along with you.

What about the cast?

While Claire Foy played royal matriarch Queen Elizabeth II in seasons 1 and 2, Olivia Colman took over in season 3 and will reprise her role in the fourth. As for who's playing Her Majesty in The Crown's last season? Morgan confirmed that the rumors are true: The role will indeed go to British actress Imelda Staunton. (You may recognize her best as Professor Umbridge from the Harry Potter films).

The casting was first revealed last November, but Netflix quickly shot down the reports as "pure speculation." Now it seems that the news simply dropped a bit earlier than they intended.

"I have loved watching The Crown from the very start," Staunton told The Hollywood Reporter. "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 honored to be joining such an exceptional creative team and to be taking The Crown to its conclusion."

Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

So can the star take-on the Queen? Well, she is a BAFTA award-winning actress—and dare we say her resemblance to the esteemed matriarch is even stronger than that of her predecessors?

And following in Vanessa Kirby and Helena Bonham-Carter's footsteps, Oscar-nominated U.K. actress Lesley Manville will play the ever-entertaining Princess Margaret. Manville, who you've seen in Phantom Thread and Maleficent In July the actress issued a statement in July saying, "I could not be happier to be playing Princess Margaret. The baton is being passed on from two formidable actresses, and I really don’t want to let the side down. Furthermore to play siblings with my dear friend Imelda Staunton will be nothing short of a complete joy."

What years would the storyline cover in season 5?

Photo credit: Tim Graham - Getty Images
Photo credit: Tim Graham - Getty Images

While many The Crown fans were hoping to see the present-day royal drama portrayed on the small screen—you know, "Megxit," aka Prince Harry and Meghan Markle stepping down as senior royalsthat now seems extremely unlikely.

Each season of the show roughly covers a decade of royal history, and from context clues, we can guess season 4 will cover the late 1970s to early 1990s. We do know that season 4 will zero in on Prince Charles' dramatic personal life...which is a nice way of saying he and Princess Diana's turbulent relationship will take center stage. They officially met in 1980 and got married in 1981. We can then factor in that Margaret Thatcher will join the fold, as we know actress Gillian Anderson was snagged to play the famed U.K. prime minister. The Iron Lady led Britain for a decade beginning in 1979.

Photo credit: Tim Graham - Getty Images
Photo credit: Tim Graham - Getty Images

So, if season 4 were to end in the late '80s to early '90s, we're guessing The Crown season 5 would take us through the following decade into the early 2000s. This time period covers key royal events like Prince Charles and Princess Diana's divorce in 1996 and Princess Diana's death the following year. Princess Margaret and the Queen Mother both died in 2002. They have been major characters since The Crown season 1—particularly Margaret—so it wouldn't be surprising to see the show follow the two until their end.

While Prince William and Kate Middleton castings are probably not in our future, it sounds like the finale of The Crown is going to be worth the wait.

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