‘The Crown’ might still get a sixth season after all!

The makers of The Crown shocked fans earlier this year by announcing its 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.

The Favourite star Olivia Colman took over the lead role in 2019’s Season 3 and she’ll return as the Queen in Season 4.

Following rumours last autumn, it was officially confirmed in February that English actress Imelda Staunton will be the show’s next Elizabeth in the fifth season of The Crown.

What surprised fans, however, was the news that The Crown would be wrapping up its story earlier than originally intended.

The show’s creator and writer Peter Morgan had always been open that he planned for the series to run for six seasons.

In a statement earlier this year, 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.”

However, it’s now emerged that The Crown could still continue away from Netflix.

The CEO of production company Left Bank Pictures, Andy Harries, admitted to Deadline: “It’s quite well known that Left Bank retained the rights to The Crown… The plan is ongoing.”

For now, though, the show’s home remains Netflix.

Harries said: “It’s still exclusively on Netflix and it stays there for the moment.”

What this does mean is that if another broadcaster or streaming service wanted to commission a sixth season of The Crown, the production company are legally entitled to make this happen without needing Netflix’s permission.

Great news if you were hoping to see the more recent dramas of Will, Kate, Harry and Meghan brought to life on screen!

Although The Crown writer Peter Morgan told Entertainment Weekly a while back: “I feel uncomfortable writing about events within a certain time period.”

Morgan explained: “I think there’s a certain amount of time within which, if you write about it, what you do instantly becomes journalistic. Because it’s too close to the moment.”

Imelda Staunton is expected to begin filming the fifth season of The Crown later this year, although the shoot may be delayed due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The 63-year-old Harry Potter star will be familiar to period drama fans for her recent appearance in the Downton Abbey movie as Lady Maud Bagshaw.

Production on the final scenes of The Crown‘s next season was rushed through last month just before the entire film and television industry shut down.

The Crown is available to buy on DVD on Amazon.