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Has The Crown Found A New Prince Philip For Season Three?

© Netflix

It appears that The Crown is one step closer to casting its next Prince Philip: Paul Bettany is reportedly in talks with the show’s producers to take on the royal role for seasons three and four.

According to a report in the Daily Mail, the British actor has ‘emerged as the leading contender’ to replace former Doctor Who star Matt Smith, who played the Prince in his twenties and thirties.

The Mail added that ‘Andy Harries and Suzanne Mackie, two of The Crown’s senior executive producers, met with Bettany’s agents at a Hollywood club where they discussed the actor’s availability to attend rehearsals in June, and whether he could film from July until January or February next year.'

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Bettany’s most visible role to date has perhaps come courtesy of Marvel’s juggernaut Avengers franchise, in which he plays the cyborg Vision alongside the likes of Robert Downey Jr, Scarlett Johansson and Chris Hemsworth. He is also known for his roles in A Knight’s Tale, The Young Victoria and Master and Commander, and will have an as-yet-undisclosed part in the upcoming Star Wars spin-off Solo. He is married to the actress Jennifer Connelly, who he met while filming A Beautiful Mind.

Should his negotiations prove successful, Bettany would join Olivia Colman, who will take over the role of Queen Elizabeth from the Golden Globe-winning Claire Foy. The Broadchurch star is the only new cast member to have been officially confirmed, though an Instagram post showing season one and two star Vanessa Kirby with Helena Bonham Carter has been taken as proof that the actress is set to step into Princess Margaret’s shoes.

While we know very little about what is in store for season three of The Crown, we can expect an analysis of Margaret’s messy divorce from photographer Anthony Armstrong-Jones, as well as an introduction to Prince Charles’ future mistress (then wife) Camilla Parker-Bowles. Per the Mail report, the show’s execs are busy casting the roles of the Prince, Camilla and Diana, Princess of Wales.