Updated with source confirmation: Imelda Staunton is in talks to replace Olivia Colman as Queen Elizabeth II in seasons 5 and 6 of critically praised Netflix drama The Crown, a source has told Deadline.
Netflix has refused to confirm reports about the casting, but it is understood that Staunton is in discussions with Left Bank Pictures over the role, though a deal is still some way off being completed.
The Crown was renewed through season 4, but has not yet gotten an official green light for seasons 5 and 6. However, creator Peter Morgan signed a huge overall deal with Netflix in October, with sources telling Deadline it will encompass another two seasons of the show.
“We are currently filming season 4 of The Crown but have not commissioned any further seasons as yet, therefore any news on casting remains pure speculation,” a Netflix spokesperson said in a statement.
Season 3 of The Crown, which launched on Netflix last weekend, starts in 1963 and covers events such as the rise of the Beatles and England winning the soccer World Cup in 1966. Characters such as Camilla Parker Bowles also start to emerge in season 3. This is the first season for Colman as the Queen. She took over for Claire Foy, who played the role in the first two seasons.
Staunton is known for her portrayal of Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter franchise. She can currently be seen in Maleficent: Mistress of Evil and the Downton Abbey film. She recently starred opposite Martin Freeman in ITV drama A Confession.
Britain’s Daily Mail first reported the news about Staunton being the heir apparent to Colman.