The Crown Season 3: Paul Bettany Exits Talks to Play Prince Philip


Well, it was a fun prospect while it lasted!

Although Paul Bettany had been in active negotiations to play Prince Philip in Season 3 of The Crown, TVLine has learned that the Beautiful Mind actor was ultimately unable to sign on the dotted line due to scheduling conflicts. As a result, the search continues for an actor to follow in the footsteps of 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. (For the record, Netflix has not officially renewed The Crown for a third season.)

Bettany most recently starred as Ted Kaczynski in Discovery’s Manhunt: Unabomber miniseries.