Netflix Is On The Verge Of Inking Deal With Paul Bettany To Play Prince Philip On ‘The Crown’

Bettany would join Olivia Colman as Queen Elizabeth and Helena Bonham Carter as Princess Margaret in Season 3 of 'The Crown'

Paul Bettany attends Discovery Channel's "Manhunt: Unabomber" series premiere at The Appel Room at Jazz at Lincoln Center's Frederick P. Rose Hall
Andy Kropa / AP Images

Bettany would join Olivia Colman as Queen Elizabeth and Helena Bonham Carter as Princess Margaret in Season 3 of 'The Crown'

Sure, the Netflix series The Crown is essentially the story of Queen Elizabeth and the woman behind the crown, but Prince Philip is a critical piece of that puzzle, and finding the right actor to help tell the story is key. For the first two seasons, Matt Smith, the former Dr. Who, has been playing the young Prince Philip opposite Claire Foy’s Queen Elizabeth, but for The Crown Season 3, Smith and Foy will be replaced by more mature actors who will carry the royal couple into the next decade.

Netflix Hasn’t Yet Confirmed That The Crown Has Signed Paul Bettany

While the official story is still that Netflix and The Crown creator Peter Morgan are still negotiating with actor Paul Bettany, Matt Smith, the current Prince Philip, let it slip last month with a heavy hint that Paul Bettany would be the new Prince Philip for The Crown Season 3.

Matt Smith went on Late Night With Seth Meyers to talk about playing the role of Prince Philip on The Crown and turning over the reigns to a new Prince Philip. Smith gave heavy hints that only led to Bettany. Matt Smith essentially told Seth Meyers that the new Prince Philip was a done deal.

Last Month, Matt Smith Hinted To Seth Meyers That Paul Bettany Was The New Prince Philip

“Well, I don’t know, I maybe know. I don’t know if I know. I’m not meant to know, but I maybe know. If it’s the person that it could be I was just totally flattered. I thought, ‘Oh I’m flattered’.”

Of the names bandied about, Paul Bettany was the traditionally handsome actor who seemed to be the obvious choice.

“I don’t want to kind of speculate too much, but yeah he’s brilliant. That’s if it’s the person that I think it might be, and he’s incredible. Handsome as well, which, you know…” he joked. “Fingers crossed. I morphed into someone far better looking than I.”

Is Paul Bettany Too Nice To Play Prince Philip?

Vanity Fair believes that BAFTA nominee Paul Bettany is an interesting choice to portray Prince Philip in The Crown, likely for at least the next two seasons (3-4). The twist is that Bettany usually plays sweet, amiable characters while Prince Philip is, well, snarky at best, and entitled. There is no doubt that an actor as talented as Paul Bettany can take the ball and run with it, but it is outside his normal purview (for an actor, all the more reason to take on a new, high-profile challenge with the likes of Olivia Colman and Helena Bonham Carter).

Neither Netflix’s nor Paul Bettany’s reps would confirm that a deal had been made for Bettany to play Prince Philip in The Crown Season 3, but they aren’t denying it either. Vanity Fair admits that Paul Bettany bears a striking resemblance to Prince Philip during the critical period (the ’60s and ’70s).

“Just adorn him with a few medals, and you’ve got a prince.”

One Source Says That Paul Bettany Is The New Prince Philip

PureWow is stating that Paul Bettany is the actor replacing Matt Smith as Prince Philip in The Crown Season 3. They are claiming that Bettany is next in line to the throne — at least on screen.

In a side-by-side photo of Paul Bettany and Prince Philip, it is easy to see why creators of The Crown would bend over backwards to secure Bettany for the role. Frankly, Bettany is a younger, more handsome Prince Philip, down to the coloring and the strong chin.

“Bettany will replace Matt Smith, who played the prince in seasons one and two of the drama. In his new role, Bettany will play the royal BBQ lover through the ’70s and beyond.”

For Paul Bettany, playing Prince Philip in The Crown Season 3 and beyond could be career-making, cementing Bettany as a household name.