After months of speculations (and negotiations), Netflix tonight officially unveiled The Crown, Peter Morgan’s decades-spanning drama series that explores the inside story of Queen Elizabeth II and Britain’s post-war Prime Ministers. The 10-episode first season will premiere on the streaming service in 2016.
On the ambitious, $100million project –Netflix’s first UK-based series — The Queen writer Morgan is reuniting with director Stephen Daldry (Billy Elliot) and producer Andy Harries (The Queen). Inspired by Morgan’s hit award-winning West End Play The Audience, each season of The Crown will explore the political rivalries and personal intrigues across a decade of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign, exploring the delicate balance between her private world and public life. “The Crown is not only about the royal family but about an empire in decline, a world in disarray and the dawn of a new era,” Morgan said.
Season one begins with a 25-year-old Princess —expected to be played by Claire Foy — faced with the daunting prospect of leading the most famous monarchy in the world while forging a relationship with the domineering, war-hardened Prime Minister Winston Churchill. “The Crown is storytelling that lives somewhere between television and cinema from Britain’s foremost chroniclers of modern politics, class and society,” said Cindy Holland, Neflix’s VP of Original Content.
It is believed that at least three actresses will play the Queen across her six-decade rule. It is unclear whether Helen Mirren will reprise the role that won her an Oscar in The Queen.
The Crown is produced by Sony-owned British production company Left Bank Pictures in association with Sony Pictures TV. Morgan, Daldry and Harries will serve as executive producers along with Robert Fox and Matthew Byam Shaw.
Fox produced The Audience, which imagined 60 years of the Queen’s private conversations with British Prime Ministers from Winston Churchill through to current PM David Cameron.