Netflix Takes “The Crown” But With Mirren?

It’s official: Netflix has announced an initial order for “The Crown,” a drama about the interplay and political intrigue between Queen Elizabeth II and the British prime ministers spanning several decades, with the first 10-episode season set to premiere worldwide in 2016. “The Crown,” produced by Left Bank Pictures in association with Sony Pictures Television, is based on the play “The Audience” from scribe Peter Morgan (“The Queen,” “Frost/Nixon”) and director Stephen Daldry (“Billy Elliot,” “The Hours”). Casting has not been announced for the series. Helen Mirren starred in the “The Audience” as Queen Elizabeth II as well as Miramax’s “The Queen.” She will reprise the role on Broadway in early 2015, and I don’t expect her to relinquish the crown for the TV version, though Her Mirren-ness is graciously allowing Kristin Scott Thomas to wear the purple in London. Netflix has announced the pickup of a first season of “The Royals,” but said each season of “The Crown” will cover a decade of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign. Season one begins with Elizabeth as a 25-year-old princess faced with the daunting prospect of leading the world’s most famous monarchy while forging a relationship with domineering Prime Minister Winston Churchill.

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