The 63-year-old BAFTA-winning actress, who is known for her role as Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter films and for playing Lady Maud Baghsaw in the Downton Abbeymovie, is said to be playing Her Majesty in seasons 5 and 6 of Netflix’s show, according to the Daily Mail.
Entertainment publication Deadline also reports Imelda is in talks to replace Olivia Colman, who is starring as the Queen in seasons 3 and 4. The website also says while showrunner Peter Morgan signed a deal with Netflix that is said to include two more seasons of the hit show, seasons 5 and 6 haven’t been given the go-ahead yet.
“We are currently filming season 4 of The Crown but have not commissioned any further seasons as yet, therefore any news on casting remains pure speculation,” a Netflix spokesperson said in a statement.
Season 3 of The Crown debuted on Netflix last weekend and sees Olivia pick up where Claire Foy left off with the role in the first two series. The latest episodes begin in 1963, covering the rise of Labour Prime Minister Harold Wilson, the collapse of Princess Margaret’s marriage and Prince Charles’s investiture as Prince of Wales. It also stars Tobias Menzies as Prince Philip, Helena Bonham Carter as Margaret, Josh O’Connor as Charles and Erin Doherty as Princess Anne. Season 4 will cover the rise of late former UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher (Gillian Anderson) and Charles’s marriage to Princess Diana (Emma Corrin).
If Imelda were to take over the role in seasons five and six, it would likely run the show through to the late 1990s or early 2000s and cover such events as the childhoods of Prince William and Prince Harry and the deaths of Diana, Margaret and the Queen Mother.
Imelda also has experience playing royals, so it would be pretty brilliant casting if it did end up happening. In the BBC TV drama Cambridge Spies, set in the UK from 1934 to 1951, she played the Queen Mother, then known as Queen Elizabeth during the time of King George VI’s reign.