Netflix is facing a “Crexit” crisis!
The Crown will come to an end with Season 5, with Harry Potter actress Imelda Staunton officially taking over as Queen Elizabeth in the final season, Netflix announced early Friday. Staunton succeeds Claire Foy (Seasons 1 and 2) and Olivia Colman (Seasons 3 and upcoming Season 4).
Series creator Peter Morgan initially intended The Crown to run for six seasons. However, he recently had a change of heart, explaining in a statement, “Now that we have begun work on the stories for Season 5 it has become clear to me that this is the perfect time and place to stop.”
Staunton, meanwhile, said in her own statement, “As an actor it was a joy to see how both Claire Foy and Olivia Colman brought something special and unique to Peter Morgan’s scripts. I am genuinely honoured to be joining such an exceptional creative team and to be taking The Crown to its conclusion.”
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. (She’s married to Downton star Jim Carter in real life.)
The Crown Season 3 premiered in September. Season 4, which will welcome Gillian Anderson as UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and newcomer Emma Corrin as a young Diana Spencer, is slated to bow later this year, with Season 5 likely arriving in 2021.