Imelda Staunton will have to wait a little while longer to ascend to the throne as Queen Elizabeth II, as Netflix's popular historical drama The Crown will not premiere its fifth season until sometime in 2022. The news was confirmed by Deadline Wednesday and comes as the streamer prepares to drop the fourth season of the beloved original series.
Although an exact production date has not been announced, the outlet reported that Left Bank Pictures, the production company behind The Crown, is currently scheduled to begin filming the fifth season in June of 2021. This means that while Season 4 is expected to drop later this year, new episodes will not be released in 2021. While several productions have halted in response to the coronavirus pandemic, this break was reportedly planned and falls in line with previous schedules for the series, which also took a two-year filming break between Seasons 2 and 3 as Olivia Colman took over the role of Queen Elizabeth from Claire Foy. Staunton is taking over the part from Colman and will join a cast of new actors as the series refreshes its cast every two seasons due to the nature of the drama, which covers a decade of the Queen's reign every season.
Season 4, which managed to wrap up filming before productions were halted, is set to cover the period between 1980 and 1990 and will cover such events as the outing of Margaret Thatcher, to be portrayed by The X-Files actress Gillian Anderson, as Prime Minister. It will also have a focus on Prince Charles' relationship with the late Princess Diana, who will be introduced on the series for the first time with actress Emma Corrin taking on the role. The couple married in 1981.
Meanwhile, with Season 4 set to debut later this year, with an exact premiere date not yet announced, and Season 5 not expected to launch until 2022, the sixth and final season will likely not begin filming until 2022, debuting either later that year or in 2023. Although the series had been set to run six seasons, Netflix had announced that the series would be ending with Season 5, with series creator Peter Morgan stating at the time, "now that we have begun work on the stories for season five it has become clear to me that this is the perfect time and place to stop." Morgan, as well as the streamer, later had a change of heart, announcing on July 9 that the series would move forward with a sixth season. Morgan explained that the decision was made as they "started to discuss the storylines for Series 5," and that "it soon became clear that to do justice to the richness and complexity of the story, we should go back to the original plan and do six seasons."
The first three seasons of The Crown are available for streaming on Netflix. Season 4 does not yet have a release date, though it is expected to air sometime in 2020. Seasons 5 and 6 will not be released until 2022 or later. Stay tuned to PopCulture.com for the latest information.