Netflix has started building the cast for The Crown. Matt Smith (Doctor Who), Claire Foy (Wolf Hall) and John Lithgow (3rd Rock From The Sun) have been set as regulars in the debut season of the decades spanning regal drama, TVWise has learned.
Matt Smith has been cast as Philip Mountbatten, the Duke of Edinburgh; Claire Foy as Her Majesti Queen Elizabeth II; while John Lithgow will play the UK’s best known Prime Minister, Sir Winston Churchill. The trio are the first actor to be officially cast in the project, which is Netflix first UK originated production. Owing to the set up of the show, with each season spanning a decade, multiple actresses are expected to portray the Queen, with Foy only playing her in the early years of her reign.
The Crown is described as an inside look at the relationship between the Queen and her many Prime Ministers. It is eyed as a potential long running series, with each 10 episode season charting a decade of the Queen’s reign. The first seasons will open with the 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.
The drama series, which is understood to have a budget of £100 million, is based on Peter Morgan’s stage play The Audience, with Morgan penning the scripts for the TV series. Philip Martin, Julian Jarrold and Stephen Daldry, who has previously worked with Peter Morgan, are attached to direct. Sony backed UK indie Left Bank Pictures (Strike Back, Outlander) is producing, with Morgan, Andy Harries, Daldry, Philip Martin, Suzanne Mackie, Tanya Seghatchian, Robert Fox and Matthew Byam Shaw serving as executive producers. The Crown will premiere globally on Netflix in 2016.