Olivia Colman just assumed the throne on The Crown — but Netflix is already lining up her replacement.
Oscar nominee and Harry Potter veteran Imelda Staunton has signed on to play Queen Elizabeth II in Seasons 5 and 6 of the royal drama, according to a report in The Daily Mail. Colman will still play the queen in the upcoming Season 4, with Staunton taking over the following season, which is expected to debut in 2021. Colman herself took over the role from Claire Foy, who played the UK monarch in The Crown‘s first two seasons.
When reached for comment by TVLine, Netflix declined to confirm the news in a statement: “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 veteran of stage and screen, Staunton played Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter movies and earned an Oscar nomination for Best Actress for 2004’s Vera Drake. She recently played Lady Maud Bagshaw in the Downton Abbey movie, released in September. (Fun fact: She’s married to Downton star Jim Carter in real life.)
The Crown returned for Season 3 this past Sunday, and has already added a number of fresh faces to the Season 4 cast. Gillian Anderson will portray UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, with newcomer Emma Corrin playing a young Diana Spencer.
Would Staunton make a good Queen Elizabeth? Drop your thoughts on the casting in a comment below, The Crown fans.