After having received a much-needed shot in the arm with its fourth season, The Crown could get a spinoff series that is being discussed by Netflix and Left Bank Pictures. Variety reports that the series hasn’t been greenlit, nor is it in development. Series creator Peter Morgan, however, is expected to return.
The prequel series will reportedly start with the death of Queen Victoria in 1901, and will chart the years leading up to when the first season of The Crown began (around 1947). Unlike the main show, which dedicates one season each to an entire decade of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign, the prequel is expected to run for three to five seasons, according to the Daily Mail. But Variety cited a source as saying that this particular detail is speculative.
Four kings — Edward VII (1901-10), George V (1910-36), Edward VIII (1936), and George VI (1936-52) — ruled during this period. This could potentially switch the perspective of the show, which normally features a revolving door of Prime Ministers, while the Queen remains a constant presence. Jared Harris played King George VI on The Crown, while Alex Jennings and Derek Jacobi appeared as King Edward VIII.
Famously, The Crown switches its lead star after every two seasons, and it’s kind of a kingmaker, no pun intended. Claire Foy, who played the Queen in the first couple of seasons, successfully transitioned to the movies. As did Vanessa Kirby, who played the Queen’s sister, Princess Margaret. Olivia Colman took over the lead role for the third and fourth of The Crown, and Imelda Staunton has been cast in the lead role for the fifth and sixth seasons, which will also serve as the series’ last.
After reports of dwindling viewership and high production costs, The Crown bounced back into pop-culture prominence with the fourth season, which introduced Prince Charles and Diana Spencer and tracked their doomed marriage. Emma Corrin went on to become the season’s breakout star, winning a Golden Globe and scoring an Emmy nomination for her performance as Diana. The fourth season won 11 Emmys in total.
For a while, it was believed that Netflix was fixing to cash out and conclude the show with the fifth season. It was later reported that a sixth season will be produced after all, as per original plans.
Production on the fifth season has wrapped, with cast members Jonathan Pryce as Prince Philip, Lesley Manville as Princess Margaret, Dominic West as Prince Charles, Elizabeth Debicki as Princess Diana, and Olivia Williams as Camilla Parker Bowles. The sixth season is expected to start filming this August. Stay tuned to Collider for more updates.
You can watch Seasons 1-4 of The Crown now on Netflix.