“The Crown” is going to take another big filming break between the changing of its royals. While the Netflix drama’s fourth season is still on track to debut later this year, its fifth installment — the first with Imelda Staunton portraying Queen Elizabeth II — won’t launch until 2022, TheWrap has learned.
Production on Season 4 of “The Crown,” the final one led by Olivia Colman, wrapped in March, right before the coronavirus pandemic shut down shooting almost everywhere. And, just as Netflix and Left Bank Pictures did with the show when the cast switched over from a troupe led by Claire Foy and Matt Smith to one led by Colman and Tobias Menzies between Seasons 2 and 3, the streaming service and production company plan to take a significant pause before filming on Season 5 begins next June.
That means that after the fourth season premieres later this year at a yet-to-be-determined date, there will be no new episodes of “The Crown” until 2022.
Netflix did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment on the production break.
Earlier this month, Netflix and “The Crown” creator Peter Morgan revealed the series will run for six seasons after all, following their January announcement that Season 5 would be the drama’s final year, despite Morgan continuously having stated his vision for “The Crown” had always been a six-season run.
“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,” Morgan said in a statement July 9. “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.”
The first and second season of “The Crown” starred Foy as Queen Elizabeth II, with her passing the throne to Colman for both Season 3 (which launched last November) and the upcoming Season 4. When Netflix and Morgan announced in January that the show would end with Season 5 — which is no longer the case — they also revealed Staunton would be portraying the queen for the final installment.
Now Staunton will be playing the royal lead for both Seasons 5 and 6, with Lesley Manville recently cast as her sister, Princess Margaret, a role currently filled by Helena Bonham Carter.
The upcoming fourth season of “The Crown” will cover Queen Elizabeth and the British royal family during the Princess Diana era, after the third season left off in 1977 at the Queen’s Silver Jubilee.
The current cast of “The Crown” — so the actors who filled the British royal family’s shoes for Season 3 and will do so again for Season 4 — includes Colman as Queen Elizabeth II, Tobias Menzies as Prince Philip, Carter as Princess Margaret, Ben Daniels as Lord Snowdon, Josh O’Connor as Prince Charles and Erin Doherty as Princess Anne. Emma Corrin will be joining the lineup in Season 4 as Princess Diana and Gillian Anderson will be coming in to play Margaret Thatcher.
Deadline first reported the news of “The Crown’s” filming break.