'The Crown': Paul Bettany Near Deal to Play Prince Philip

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Although there is no deal in place as yet, sources have told The Hollywood Reporter that the British actor is close to signing on for Seasons 3 and 4 of the hit Netflix series.

He would be taking over the role from former Doctor Who star Matt Smith, who portrayed Prince Philip for the show's first two seasons. Creator Peter Morgan has previously promised six seasons covering the Queen's entire reign, so we can expect a second recast with new actors for seasons 5 and 6, covering the last couple of decades of Elizabeth and Philip's life.

As previously reported, Oscar victor Helena Bonham Carter will be playing Princess Margaret in the next two seasons, taking over from actress Vanessa Kirby.

Creator Peter Morgan always meant to change the cast as the characters aged and Bettany would join fellow newbies Olivia Colman (Elizabeth) and Helena Bonham Cater (Princess Margaret), who have taken over from Claire Foy and Vanessa Kirby respectively. Season two just dropped on Netflix on December 8, 2017.

Netflix has not yet confirmed the upcoming seasons, though it's pretty much a no brainer at this point!

Netflix and producers Sony Pictures Television Studios declined comment as a deal has not officially been closed.

Paul Bettany is an English actor known for his voice role as J.A.R.V.I.S. and the Visionin the Marvel Cinematic Universe, specifically the films Iron Man (2008), Iron Man 2 (2010), The Avengers (2012), Iron Man 3 (2013), Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), and Captain America: Civil War (2016). If it all goes through, though, then Bettany will likely play the Duke of Edinburgh for the next two seasons of The Crown.

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