EXCLUSIVE: Imelda Staunton will not make her bow as Queen Elizabeth II until 2022 as The Crown takes a filming break this year amid its final cast changeover, Deadline can reveal.
Left Bank Pictures won’t get cameras rolling on Season 5 of the Netflix franchise until June next year, meaning the streamer will be without new episodes of one of its highest-profile shows in 2021.
Deadline understands that the filming break has always been part of The Crown’s production schedule and is not related to the coronavirus pandemic, although sources acknowledged that the hiatus has been helpfully timed.
The show would need to be ramping up for production right now if Season 5 was to be delivered in 2021, which sources said would have been far from straightforward given its ambition and mix of studio and setpiece location shoots.
'The Crown' Will Run For Six Seasons After Peter Morgan Changes Mind On Finale
There was a similar pause between Season 2 and 3 of The Crown, which were separated by a two-year gap as Claire Foy stepped away from the throne and her heir Olivia Colman took her place.
With Season 5 filming in June 2021, the sixth and final season will shoot in 2022. Netflix announced in January that the fifth season would be the last, only for creator Peter Morgan to reverse his decision earlier this month.
Staunton will ascend to the role of Queen Elizabeth for the final two seasons, with Lesley Manville confirmed as Princess Margaret. Netflix is set to announce other casting news over the coming months.
Meanwhile, Season 4 will drop later this year and will take us through until 1990 when Margaret Thatcher was ousted as Prime Minister. The X-Files actress Gillian Anderson will star as Thatcher, while Princess Diana (played by Emma Corrin) will also have a pivotal role in the new series, marrying Prince Charles (Josh O’Connor) in 1981.
Left Bank just managed to wrap the series before coronavirus swept through television production in March. Tobias Menzies, who stars as Prince Philip, told Deadline that it robbed the existing cast of a farewell celebration after they filmed their last scenes.
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