Hit Netflix series The Crown has announced casting changes to its major characters, starting with Queen Elizabeth and Princess Margaret. Now, there are talks that the show’s creators have found the actor who will replace Matt Smith as Prince Philip.
Avengers: Infinity War actor Paul Bettany is in negotiations to portray Prince Philip in The Crown Season 3. According to Variety, the British actor has been confirmed to be in the running to play Queen Elizabeth II’s husband on the show. He will replace Matt Smith, who played the character for two consecutive seasons opposite Claire Foy as the young Queen.
If Bettany is confirmed, he will complete the core cast of characters of The Crown Season 3, as Olivia Colman (Murder on the Orient Express) has been cast as Queen Elizabeth and Helena Bonham Carter (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows) as Princess Margaret. He would also have to block of six months in his filming schedule to shoot the third season.
Showrunners have previously revealed their intention to change their casts every two seasons as the characters age throughout the story. The second season ended around 1964, particularly after the Queen gives birth to her fourth child.
The Crown Season 3 will tackle the end to Margaret’s tumultuous marriage to Antony Armstrong-Jones. In the second season, which is currently streaming on Netflix, showed how the couple’s relationship began, with Matthew Goode portraying the photographer-turned-royal.
As the Season 3 timeline will most likely be set in the 1970s, Camilla Parker Bowles will be introduced in the show. According to producer Suzanne Mackie, a young Camilla will appear in the third season, E! News reported. Royal watchers may recall that Camilla dated Prince Charles before he married Diana.
The Crown is expected to run for six seasons, chronicling the life of Queen Elizabeth from the early days of her reign to the present. Netflix content chief Ted Sarandos told The Hollywood Reporter that the show will take the Queen from age 29 to the present day.
With the show’s longevity and the expectation that it might film over a span of 10 years, Smith said that the turnovers are a particularly clever idea as it would be difficult to retain the actor’s interest in a project for a term of over six seasons.
“I think it’s a good thing for the show, though, for the longevity of the show. If this show is to work in the way that I think it could, changing the actors every two years is a really clever idea.”
The Crown Season 3 is expected to premiere in the latter half of 2018.