A surprising announcement about the future of The Crown has been made by Netflix.
The award-winning period drama series about the reign of Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom began in 2016, with Claire Foy leading the original cast.
Last autumn it was reported that Harry Potter star Imelda Staunton would be playing Elizabeth in the fifth and show’s sixth seasons of The Crown.
However, Netflix has now made the unexpected decision to bring The Crown to an end earlier than planned.
While confirming the casting of Staunton as the next Queen, they also revealed that the fifth season will be the last.
Cindy Holland, VP, Original Content, Netflix, commented: “The first three seasons of The Crown defined an era, and I know the upcoming fourth season will build further on that success.
“It’s a stunning example of award-winning entertainment, created in the UK and loved by millions of fans around the world.”
The Crown creator and writer Peter Morgan had previously always openly revealed his intention for the series to run for six seasons.
It’s currently uncertain what has caused the change of plan.
In a statement, Morgan said: “At the outset I had imagined The Crown running for six seasons but now that we have begun work on the stories for season five it has become clear to me that this is the perfect time and place to stop. I’m grateful to Netflix and Sony for supporting me in this decision.”
Netflix’s Cindy Holland responded: “I fully support Peter Morgan’s creative decision and am excited to see how he, Imelda Staunton and the cast and crew of Season 5, bring this landmark series to a fitting and spectacular end.”
Discussing Staunton’s casting, writer Peter Morgan commented: “I’m absolutely thrilled to confirm Imelda Staunton as Her Majesty the The Queen for the fifth and final season, taking The Crown into the 21st century. Imelda is an astonishing talent and will be a fantastic successor to Claire Foy and Olivia Colman.”
Imelda Staunton most recently appeared in the Downton Abbey movie as Lady Maud Bagshaw.
The final season of The Crown is expected to premiere on Netflix in late 2021.
Netflix revealed last month the show has been watched by a total of 73 million households worldwide since its launch in 2016.
The Crown is available to buy on DVD on Amazon.