One of the first jokes/hopes to come out after Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's royal exit announcement was how much it would help Netflix's award-winning series The Crown. Fans watching the royal drama play out in real-time imagined how The Crown could depict Harry and Meghan's drama in Season 6 or Season 7, etc. The fact that Suits alum Meghan Markle is an actress gave fans the idea that she could even play herself on the Netflix show. After all, Meghan and Harry reportedly watch The Crown together, so why not take the lead in telling their own story?
Well, sorry, but that's not gonna happen.
Meghan Markle probably wouldn't want to play herself anyway, but The Crown is not touching this drama. Why not? It's not because of royal disapproval -- they probably disapprove of a lot more than that, and the Netflix show hasn't even gotten to all of the Princess Diana drama yet.
No, it's because The Crown boss Peter Morgan has already planned out the story he wants to tell. He hopes to tell it across six seasons -- we're up to Season 4 coming next, introducing Diana Spencer and also "brilliant" Gillian Anderson as Margaret Thatcher.
A source just confirmed to Vanity Fair that The Crown will never address any of the modern-day issues.
Sadly for fans of this messy drama, that does track with that Peter Morgan told EW in December 2018. He wants to end the show long before the current issues, so the show has a little bit of editorial distance:
I know how my show is going to end — but that’s long before where we are now. I feel uncomfortable writing about events within a certain time period. 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. If you wait a certain amount of time, if you allow fifteen or twenty years, basically a generation, between you and [the events] then you can write about it somewhat freely as drama. Let’s wait twenty years and see what there is to say about Meghan Markle. I don’t know what there is to say about Meghan Markle at the moment. I wouldn’t know and I wouldn’t presume. She’ll only become interesting once we’ve had twenty years to digest who she is and what her impact has been. If I were to write about Meghan Markle I would automatically be writing journalistically. I’ve got nothing to say about Meghan Markle.
Well, he might be the only one with nothing to say about Meghan Markle, aka the Duchess of Sussex. However, I'm wondering if a revival of The Crown would be considered for 5 or 10 years after The Crown series finale, whether this show ends after Season 6 as planned or not.
Peter Morgan doesn't have to be the one to tell the story, but The Crown is a star-studded highbrow look at the royal family, as opposed to a (sorry Lifetime) Lifetime movie of the week or tabloid re-enactment, etc. There are so many ways this story is going to be covered in a salacious manner. That's not to say The Crown is one place where the story would be told right -- there's plenty of creative license -- but I would argue it is told respectfully and with class.
If you're still getting caught up, the Harry and Meghan story is playing out live right now and we don't know yet what the repercussions may be. This is the statement they shared, basically a declaration of independence announcing their plans to step back from official royal duties:
The reason this would make such juicy drama for The Crown is that Harry and Meghan supposedly made that surprise decision without consulting Harry's grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, or anyone else in the royal family. Now rumors are flying about how hurt and disappointed the other royals are, and what may happen next. It's a royal frenzy and the world is watching with full schadenfreude in effect. It really would make for great TV on The Crown. The popcorn is popping itself.
The Crown Season 1 released 10 episodes in November 2016, and Season 2 had 10 episodes in 2017. Season 3 just released 10 episodes in November 2019, with Olivia Colman replacing Claire Foy as Queen Elizabeth II. Each story is being told in two-season batches, two for Foy, two for Colman. There are rumors that Netflix has already cast the next (and final) queen actress for Seasons 5 and 6. We'll have to see how that turns out.
There's no set date yet for The Crown Season 4 but fall sounds about right. In the meantime, keep up with all of Netflix's 2020 premiere and return dates with our handy schedule.