The third season of Netflix's hit royal bio-drama The Crown just premiered, and we're already getting new intel about Season 4. Praise the TV spoiler gods. Here's everything we know so far about The Crown Season 4.
There's no word yet on when The Crown's fourth season will premiere. Season 3 dropped this November and Seasons 1 and 2 dropped in November 2016 and December 2017, respectively, so a November/December 2020 release date seems possible.
According to a recent casting announcement tweet from Netflix, Season 4 is in production as of September 2019, but not much else is known about the filming locations and schedule just yet.
The Crown's creator, Peter Morgan, revealed in early 2018 that Seasons 3 and 4 were being filmed back-to-back. "We’re doing them back-to-back. I’m writing them all at the moment," he said. "We’ve got Olivia, which is fantastic, and now we’re just embarking on the process of casting."
We also got some behind-the scene photos of Diana and Charles that look incredible and very true to life, so fans are already deeply excited about the coming season. (It also confused people a little bit about exactly when Diana would show up, but now we know that it's season 4.)
The very tail end of season 3 feels like a bit of a placeholder for epic and important events in the Royal Family, so season 4 is going to be hotly anticipated. But season 3 already laid the groundwork for Charles' initial relationship with Camilla Parker Bowles and their ultimate breakup, so that season 4 doesn't have to rush through events.
In keeping with the trend set with the series' first two seasons, the principal cast are playing their characters for at least two seasons, meaning we can expect to see Olivia Colman, Helena Bonham Carter, and the rest of the key players return as their characters in Season 4. Season 4 ended with the divorce between Princess Margaret and Tony Snowdon, so we may not see Ben Higgins again in the latter role.
The fourth season will also add some new cast members. Notably, Emma Corrin is set to play Lady Diana Spencer. Netflix has also confirmed that Gillian Anderson will join The Crown in Season 4 as Margaret Thatcher, Great Britain's first female prime minister.
"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," Gillian said in a tweet. "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."
There's already speculation about who will play Elizabeth in seasons 5 and 6: Imelda Staunton is apparently currently in talks, although Netflix issued a statement saying that she hasn't officially been cast yet as previous reports had suggested.
“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," Netflix said in its statement.
If you're wondering, Where do I know Imelda Staunton from? it's because she was in Harry Potter as the hated Dolores Umbridge. This would be a very different role if she does end up being the choice, although the two have a certain poshness in common.
While details about the plot of The Crown Season 4 haven't been explicitly revealed, we can guess at key plot points by looking to history. According to Variety, Season 3 will cover 1964-1976. Going by this amount of time, season 4 will cover, potentially, the late 1970s into the early 1990s. This includes what fans are dying to see: Charles and Diana (despite early reports that we might see Diana at the very tail end of season 3).
On the other hand, Seasons 1 and 2 covered Queen Elizabeth's life from 1947 until 1964—a 17-year period. If Seasons 3 and 4 continued that exact trend, Season 4 would end in 1981. Although this would leave Season 4 covering a relatively short period of time, 1981 does offer a few significant royal moments.
Not only was it the year Charles and Diana tied the knot, the 1981 Trooping the Colour also marked a scary incident for Elizabeth. During that year's celebration, someone fired six shots (which were later discovered to be blanks) at Elizabeth while she rode on horseback during the procession.
It's also possible that Season 4 will lean on other significant moments in Charles and Diana's lives as cutoff points, with the birth of Prince William and Diana's tragic and untimely death in 1997 as contenders.
The creative team behind The Crown have gone on record saying the show is intended to last for six seasons, which means that, wherever Season 4 ends, that will leave Seasons 5 and 6 (and the actors cast for them) to cover the remainder of Elizabeth's reign up until present day. So the 1990s and 2000s may be covered in these seasons.
We'll update when we know more.
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