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At some point, I guess I just expect Netflix to take a break between announcements for upcoming series developments, but the streaming service is barreling forward with new material. Granted, some of that “new material” is based on preexisting fictional characters, like their recent Richie Rich announcement. And sometimes it’s based on real people, as it is with The Crown, their pricy new project that will focus on the younger years of still-reigning Queen Elizabeth II. Regal, politically driven drama from the competitor that basically got shut out at this year’s Emmy’s. They’re going for the bejeweled jugular here.
Netflix officially ordered The Crown for ten episodes, with a budget set right around $100 million, and one wouldn’t be reaching to assume that it’ll go well past that by the time all is said and done. But the goal here is to focus on the Queen’s six-decade reign, one decade per season, honing in on her relationships with the twelve different Prime Ministers. Netflix is clearly committed to this expansive story, and they aren’t tethered to the fickle landscape of TV in making that bold decision.
Season 1 would begin with Elizabeth as a 25-year-old princess entering her supreme position of ruling the most respected monarchy in the world (arguably, as anything is), while having to build a line of communication with the war-weighted Prime Minister Winston Churchill. It’s not clear if each episode is going to tell of a specific year or if the story will flow through time on a more unrestrained basis. This will be about more than just the young Queen, and will also take into account the post-WWII world at large.
They’re obviously going to be spending a bundle on sets and costumes, but how much of that dough is set aside for attracting a top notch cast? One would expect this series to cover a large amount of historical ground. For its screenwriter, The Crown boasts the Oscar-nominated Peter Morgan, who wrote 2008’s Frost/Nixon and 2006’s The Queen, as well as the Emmy-nominated TV movie The Special Relationship. The Reader and Billy Elliot director Stephen Daldy will reteam with Morgan for this. The duo worked together for the stage show The Audience, which inspired this grander project.
According to Deadline, Crossbones and Upstairs Downstairs actress Claire Foy is line to play the Queen in this era of her life. At this point, there’s no telling whether or not Helen Mirren will come back for her Oscar-winning role, which she did for The Audience. I’m sure she has a few years to decide.
Netflix, which already has the large and beautiful Marco Polo on the horizon, is planning on bringing The Crown to audiences in 2016. Are you guys ready for another trip down the Queen’s Memory Lane?