The Queen to get the Netflix treatment with new royal drama 'The Crown'

 

Arts Correspondent

Peter Morgan has brought the Queen to the big screen and the West End stage, now the writer is to bring the monarch online, in a £100 million series covering her 60-year reign.

Netflix, the streaming service whose programmes include House of Cards and Orange is the New Black, has commissioned royal drama The Crown, which will cover six decades of the Queen on the throne.

The series is inspired by The Audience, the sell-out stage show that opened in London last year about the Queen Elizabeth II’s weekly audiences with prime ministers from 1952 to the present day.

A source close to the project confirmed that Morgan, who wrote the play, is to team up with its director Stephen Daldry for The Crown, which will be produced by the UK’s Left Field Pictures. The series is set to last more than 20 hours.

The scope of the show will include casting hundreds of statesmen and women the Queen has met during her reign, including Nelson Mandela, and will also have actors playing members of her family including Prince Philip, Charles, Diana and William. 

Andy Harries, Robert Fox and Matthew Byam Shaw, all producers on The Audience, will reunite for the project, carrying out executive producer roles. 

There are expected to be at least three actresses to play the Queen in the new series which is due for broadcast in 2016, and possibly four.

There is no indication as to who is in the running or whether Mirren would be involved. She said that she did not “want to be known as the actress who played the Queen”.

Playwright Peter Morgan, who wrote 'The Audience' Playwright Peter Morgan, who wrote 'The Audience' (Getty Images)
This would be the first time Morgan, the writer behind Frost/Nixon and The Damned United, has worked in the US.

He is returning to familiar subject matter. He wrote The Queen, the 2006 film which won Helen Mirren a string of awards including an Oscar for her portrayal of the monarch. He was nominated for the screenplay.

They paired up again for The Audience, which won Mirren an Olivier award for her performance as the Queen and her weekly meetings with eight prime ministers. Mirren had to range in age from the Queen at 26 talking to Winston Churchill to a great-grandmother meeting David Cameron.

While audiences are set to flock to see Henry VIII in the stage adaptations of Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies, which opened last week, the current Royal Family have proved fertile ground for the stage.

From a stage version of The Kings Speech, which featured a young Elizabeth, and The Audience comes two plays currently running in the West End.

Handbagged, by Moira Buffini, charts the strained relationship between the Queen and Margaret Thatcher.

Also running in London, and set to transfer to the West End, is King Charles III starring Tim Piggot-Smith, which explores Prince Charles when he comes to the throne.

Netflix has invested heavily in its own content. At the TV Baftas, its show Breaking Bad became the first screened online to win the award for best international show.

The Crown would be the first original Netflix programme to be shot in the UK, and the online group beat the BBC and ITV to secure it. The streaming service and Left Bank declined to comment. Morgan and Daldry could not be reached. A spokeswoman at Buckingham Palace also declined to comment.

Arts and Entertainment

Great British Bake Off
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    The long walk west: they fled war in Syria, only to get held up in Hungary – now hundreds of refugees have set off on foot for Austria

    They fled war in Syria...

    ...only to get stuck and sidetracked in Hungary
    From The Prisoner to Mad Men, elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series

    Title sequences: From The Prisoner to Mad Men

    Elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series. But why does the art form have such a chequered history?
    Giorgio Armani Beauty's fabric-inspired foundations: Get back to basics this autumn

    Giorgio Armani Beauty's foundations

    Sumptuous fabrics meet luscious cosmetics for this elegant look
    From stowaways to Operation Stack: Life in a transcontinental lorry cab

    Life from the inside of a trucker's cab

    From stowaways to Operation Stack, it's a challenging time to be a trucker heading to and from the Continent
    Kelis interview: The songwriter and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell and crying over potatoes

    Kelis interview

    The singer and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell
    Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

    Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

    But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
    Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

    Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

    Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
    Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

    Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

    Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
    Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

    Britain's 24-hour culture

    With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
    Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

    The addictive nature of Diplomacy

    Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
    Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

    Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

    Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
    8 best children's clocks

    Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

    Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
    Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

    Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

    After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
    Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

    How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

    Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
    Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

    'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

    In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea