'The Crown': Imelda Staunton rumoured to be taking the throne after Olivia Colman
Netflix is keeping tight-lipped on casting for season five of the hit drama series but the rumour mill is in overdrive
She's only just been coronated as the newest iteration of Queen Elizabeth II, but rumours are already swirling over who will take over from Olivia Colman in The Crown.
The Oscar winner made her debut in the hit Netflix show on November 17, as she took over the mantle from Claire Foy to play Britain's monarch.
Colman, who took home Best Actress at this year's Academy Awards for her role in The Favourite, will play Her Majesty in seasons three and four of the show, which is charting Queen Elizabeth II's long-standing reign over a reported six seasons.
Though season three may have only just hit the streaming platform, speculation has turned to who will next take over the role and play the monarch in the final two seasons of the historical saga.
According to numerous reports, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix actress Imelda Staunton is the front-runner for the role, with the Daily Mail claiming the British star is in talks with Netflix.
If she does step into the Queen's shoes, 63-year-old Staunton will portray the monarch from the 1990s onwards, with season five set to trace the royal's years during Margaret Thatcher's premiership.
Netflix, however, downplayed rumours of Oscar-nominated Staunton's casting, releasing a statement that described the news as "speculation".
"We are currently filming season four of The Crown but have not commissioned any further seasons as yet," it read.
Season four of the show will introduce Gillian Anderson as Thatcher, and Emma Corrin as Princess Diana, with Tobias Menzies and Helena Bonham Carter continuing in their roles of Prince Philip and Princess Margaret.
The Crown is expected to run for six seasons, as Netflix's head of content, Ted Sarandos, suggested when the series first aired, meaning the next Queen would be the show's last. "The idea is to do this over six decades, in six seasons presumably, and make the whole show over eight to 10 years," he told The Hollywood Reporter.
The show's roles are recast every two seasons, to reflect the passing of time.
Updated: November 24, 2019 11:20 AM