The Crown Season 3 is set to premiere on November 17, but Netflix is already prepping the show's fourth season. On April 9, 2019, the streaming platform announced it finally cast its Princess Diana for Season 4, signaling that the future Princess of Wales will not, in fact, appear in the show's forthcoming third season, which completed filming in February. We also have more information about when the fourth installment starts filming and what to expect from its plot. Here's everything we know about Season 4 thus far. Keep checking back for updates.
1) Season 4 reportedly began filming in August.
Olivia Colman reportedly revealed during the 2019 Oscars in February that Season 4 would begin filming in August, per Yahoo. Additionally, Backstage, a career resource for actors, has a notice on its site about Season 4 filming from August 2019 to February 2020.
Additionally, an announcement on The Crown's Twitter page on Thursday, April 11, confirmed Season 4 of the series would begin filming later this year.
2) It will feature the same cast as Season 3.
The Crown production plans to re-cast the series every two seasons, so Olivia Colman, Tobias Menzies, Helena Bonham Carter, and Ben Daniels will continue to play the four main characters—Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip, Princess Margaret, and Anthony Armstrong-Jones—through Season 4 of the show. See the complete cast of The Crown Season 3 here.
3) Princess Diana will make her first appearance.
Contrary to earlier reports, Princess Diana will not appear in Season 3. She'll make her debut in Season 4, and will be played by up-and-coming actress Emma Corrin. “Beyond excited and honoured to be joining The Crown for its fourth season," Corrin said in a statement released by Netflix. "I have been glued to the show since the first episode and to think I’m now joining this incredibly talented acting family is just surreal. Princess Diana was an icon, and her effect on the world remains profound and inspiring. To be given the chance to explore her through Peter Morgan’s writing is the most exceptional opportunity, and I will strive to do her justice!”
Creator Peter Morgan also weighed in on the casting choice in a statement through Netflix:
“Emma is a brilliant talent who immediately captivated us when she came in for the part of Diana Spencer. As well as having the innocence and beauty of a young Diana, she also has, in abundance, the range and complexity to portray an extraordinary woman who went from anonymous teenager to becoming the most iconic woman of her generation.”
Corrin made an appearance in Season 4 of British TV show Grantchester in 2019. She will also star in the upcoming EPIX series Pennyworth and the forthcoming film Misbehaviour.
4) Gillian Anderson confirmed that she is playing Margaret Thatcher.
On January 20, 2019, Deadline confirmed the news that Gillian Anderson will play British prime minister Margaret Thatcher in Season 4 of The Crown. Back in 2017, the UK Times reported that Season 4 would focus on the Thatcher years, while Season 3 would focus on Prime Minister Harold Wilson.
On September 7, 2019, Anderson confirmed the news via the official The Crown Twitter account. She wrote in a statement, "I am so excited to be joining the cast and crew of The Crown and to have the opportunity to portray such a complicated and controversial woman. Thatcher was undoubtedly formidable but I am relishing exploring beneath the surface and, dare I say, falling in love with the icon who, whether loved or despised, defined an era."
Gillian Anderson will play Margaret Thatcher in The Crown Season Four, now in production. pic.twitter.com/OVCO8o2bVk— The Crown (@TheCrownNetflix) September 7, 2019
5) Prince Charles plays a much larger role in Seasons 3 and 4.
Netflix announced in July 2018 that the show cast Josh O'Connor in the role of Prince Charles. O'Connor's statement to Netflix hinted at his character's trajectory throughout the next two seasons. "Seasons 3 and 4 will follow some of the most turbulent events in the Prince of Wales's life and our national story and I'm excited to be bringing to life the man in the midst of it all," he said.
6) Season 4 will likely premiere in 2020.
With Season 3 officially due to drop in 2019, Season 4 will likely premiere the year after—just like Season 1 aired in 2016 and Season 2 in 2017.
7) There will be at least two more seasons.
Netflix's chief content officer revealed in 2016 that Peter Morgan pitched the series for a total of 60 hours. "The idea is to do this over six decades, in six seasons presumably, and make the whole show over eight to 10 years," he said, per The Hollywood Reporter. That means we could get a series finale somewhere around 2026. This also means we'll get one more complete recasting before the show ends its run.
8) Photos of Princess Diana and Prince Charles for the season have already leaked.
Images have begun to spread online showing Corrin and O'Connor shooting scenes for Season 4, where they appear to be recreating moments from Charles and Diana's royal tour of Australia in 1983. One shot with Diana in a breezy white dress and Charles in a khaki ensemble references the duo's visit to Ayers Rock in March 1983, while another scene of the princess wearing bright pink recreates a walkabout she had in Perth in April that year.
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