The Crown season 2 will be the last run of the acclaimed royal Netflix drama to feature the original cast led by Claire Foy as Queen Elizabeth and Matt Smith as Prince Philip. A few months ago, it was revealed that Olivia Colman will be replacing Foy as the Queen from season 3 onwards and now, it looks like the identity of the new Philip has been revealed, too, as he’ll be played by Avengers star Paul Bettany.
The Hollywood Reporter has revealed that Bettany is currently in talks to join the series, with the actor reportedly very close to clinching the deal. That said, Netflix and Sony Pictures Television have declined to comment on the situation. If it all goes through, though, then Bettany will likely play the Duke of Edinburgh for the next two seasons of The Crown. Creator Peter Morgan has previously promised six seasons covering the Queen’s entire reign, so we can expect a second recast with new actors for seasons 5 and 6, covering the last couple of decades of Elizabeth and Philip’s life.
Nothing has been said about any potential wages, but Netflix must be forking out a hefty paycheck in order to acquire Bettany’s services. The British actor has been a major part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe since its inception, as he’s voiced Tony Stark’s trusty A.I. JARVIS from 2008’s Iron Man onwards. Starting with 2015’s Avengers: Age of Ultron, Bettany was upgraded to a live-action role, as android hero Vision.
Along with the rest of the principal cast of the MCU, Bettany has just wrapped work on Avengers 4, due to arrive in 2019, so he should be clear to film a couple of seasons of The Crown before his next Marvel appearance rolls around. In fact, he might even have a completely free schedule if those rumours that Vision’s going to meet his end in the movie turn out to be true.
The actor has apparently been asked to attend rehearsals for the show in June and to make sure that he’s available from July until the start of 2019. So, by the sounds of things, The Crown season 3 should arrive at some point next year, and most likely with Paul Bettany in the role of Prince Philip.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter