Final season of ‘The Crown’ set for big delay due to coronavirus

It looks like The Crown fans will have a long wait for the final season.

The award-winning period drama series about the reign of Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom premiered  in 2016, with Claire Foy leading the original cast.

Olivia Colman then took over the lead role in last year’s Season 3, and she’ll be back as the Queen in ten brand new episodes towards the end of 2020.

Netflix announced the surprise news in February that the fifth season of The Crown will be the show’s last.

As previously rumoured, Harry Potter star Imelda Staunton will become the third actress to play Elizabeth.

Production on the upcoming fourth season of The Crown was rushed through in March just before the entire film and television industry shut down due to the coronavirus crisis.

However, it seems that Season 5 won’t be able to begin filming for quite some time.

Speaking at a recent BAFTA Masterclass, executive producer Andy Harries revealed: “Obviously we are facing challenging times and I don’t know when we will return to filming normally.”

He explained: “I am not sure if we can film socially distanced. I am sure some productions could do it but I am not sure that the shows we are doing would work, but we are looking at it very closely.”

Harries added: “I hate to be doomy and gloomy because I am an optimistic guy. Every day is a new challenge and every day you’ve got to be up for that challenge and you have got to plow on.”

It had originally been expected that the fifth season of The Crown would begin filming later this year, premiering on Netflix in late 2021.

Harries was reluctant to give fans an idea of when Season 5 will now be made.

He said: “Obviously we don’t know how long this will go on. All the big broadcasters will be losing a lot of money, a lot of productions will be trimmed back – a lot of budgets will be trimmed. It will be tough for producers and it’s hard to pretend otherwise.”

A new report last week suggests that nearly two thirds of scripted television series that were set to air in 2020 will be delayed due to the global pandemic.

The Crown is available to buy on DVD on Amazon.