‘The Crown’ boss admits that changing the entire cast will test if the series can survive

The Crown producer Andy Harries has described the period drama’s upcoming total recast as “daunting but exciting.”

Netflix’s award-winning period drama about the reign of Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom launched in November 2016.

The first two seasons starred Claire Foy and Matt Smith as Elizabeth and Prince Philip, but the pair will be replaced by older actors when the show returns, along with the rest of the entire cast, as the story moves into the 1970s. The planned fifth and sixth seasons will then again feature another completely new cast.

Producer Andy Harries discussed these challenges at a panel about the series at the INTV Conference in Jerusalem: “Seasons 3 and 4 will be the test of whether the show really has the legs to survive.”

He added: “I think we were the first television series ever to change cast and continue, and we will change cast twice. It’s daunting but exciting and I hope it’ll keep the series fresh and really of interest to people.”

He also revealed another problem: “As you get nearer to the present day, there are a lot more people who are alive and well.”

Season 3 begins filming in July and is expected to premiere in early 2019, with Broadchurch star Olivia Colman replacing Claire Foy as the Queen.

It recently emerged that Foy was paid less than her co-star Matt Smith in the first two seasons of The Crown, despite being in the lead role.