The Crown: Paul Bettany Tapped to Play Prince Philip, Succeeding Matt Smith


Paul Bettany is about to make the unlikely transition from Unabomber to member of the royal family.

The Manhunt: Unabomber star is nearing a deal to play Prince Philip in Season 3 of The Crown, our sister site Variety reports. He would take over the role from Matt Smith, who starred opposite Claire Foy’s Queen Elizabeth II in Seasons 1 and 2.

As previously reported, Broadchurch‘s Olivia Colman will succeed Foy as Her Royal Majesty in the third and fourth seasons, as the period piece jumps ahead in time. She joins Helena Bonham Carter (Les Misérables), who is set to portray Princess Margaret.

Bettany’s extensive resume consists mostly of film credits, including A Beautiful Mind, A Knight’s Tale and The Da Vinci Code. He is also the voice behind artificial intelligence J.A.R.V.I.S. in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He previously dipped his toes in the #PeakTV waters last summer, starring as Ted Kaczynski in Discovery’s aforementioned Unabomber mini.

It should be noted that Netflix has yet to officially greenlight future seasons of The Crown, though all indications are that it’s simply a formality at this point. Creator Peter Morgan has previously stated that he intends for the drama to run six or seven seasons altogether.

TVLine has reached out to Netflix for comment.

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