TV Talk

The Crown Starts Production in July With Elizabeth Debicki as Diana and More TV News

Plus, don't cry for Regé-Jean Page (the man has options), the full-length Loki trailer, Tom Holland cast in series, Samantha Morton is a queen (again), a Queer As Folk remake, and more of the week's top TV and streaming news.

by | April 9, 2021 | Comments

Even with the Emmy-winning 4th season having just premiered in November, season 5 of The Crown can’t come soon enough — and they haven’t even started yet! Get ready for a new cast. The same is true for Bridgerton; the series adds cast for season 2, but the big news this past week was the loss of star Regé-Jean Page. Fortunately, there’s a full-length Loki trailer to dazzle and distract. Read on for the biggest TV and streaming news of the week.


TOP STORY
The Crown’s Penultimate Season Will Include a New Cast Playing the Royals

Elizabeth Debicki, Dominic West, Imelda Staunton, and Lesley Manville
(Photo by Mark Sagliocco; Gareth Cattermole; Gennaro Leonardi/Pacific Press/LightRocket; Bennett Raglin/Getty Images)

The show’s most recent season, which introduced beloved Princess Diana to the mix, was such a hit that what was supposed to be the series’ final run – season 5 – will now be followed by one more season before Netflix pulls the royal plug on The Crown. But for now, the focus is on that fifth season, as Variety confirms that season 5 will begin production in July at Elstree Studios near London.

Following the Golden Globe and SAG Award-winning season 4, season 5 will find new performers playing the Buckingham Palace dwellers, including Tenet star Elizabeth Debicki as Diana, The Wire and The Affair star Dominic West as Prince Charles, Harry Potter alum Imelda Staunton playing Queen Elizabeth, and Lesley Manville (Phantom Thread) as Princess Margaret.

The final seasons will see the series through the 1990s and to the early 2000s, which means, as Variety notes, The Crown viewers will not see the most recent drama among the crown wearers, with Prince Harry and Megan Markle, play out Crown-style.


Don’t Cry for Regé-Jean Page, Bridgerton Fans: The Man Has Serious Options

BRIDGERTON REGÉ-JEAN PAGE
(Photo by Liam Daniel/Netflix)

Fans still sad about last week’s news of Regé-Jean Page’s departure from Netflix hit Bridgerton may be happy to learn that, according to betting aggregators US-Bookies.com, the actor is the odds-on favorite to be cast as the next big-screen James Bond.

“Lady Whistledown” first broke the news of Page’s departure from the series on social media, to which the actor responded “Pleasure and a privilege! An honour to be a member of the family – on and off screen, cast, crew and incredible fans – the love is real and will just keep growing.”

In other news, Bridgerton season 2 adds new cast members: Simone Ashley (Sex Education) as the new female lead who will play Kate Sharma, the love intertest for Jonathan Bailey’s Anthony Bridgerton; Alex Rider star Charithra Chandran will play Kate’s younger sister, Edwina; Shelley Conn (Liar) will play Mary Sharma, who is returning to London with her daughters to face the enduring scrutiny of her previous marriage scandal; Calam Lynch (Benediction) will play Theo Sharpe, a printer’s assistant and man of the people; and Rupert Young (Dear Evan Hansen) is Jack, a new member of the society with a connection to one of the prominent families.


NEW TRAILERS: Loki Trailer Reveals Premise

Add another MCU series to your lineup, people, as the official Loki trailer officially drops. The new trailer reveals the premise of the series in introducing us to the Time Variance Authority, an organization devoted to keeping the timelines (and the Multiverse) secure. The series stars Tom Hiddleston, Owen Wilson, and Gugu Mbatha-Raw. Premieres June 11 (Disney+).

More trailers and teasers released this week:
• The Woman in the Window is the all-star psychological thriller about an agoraphobic child psychologist (Amy Adams) who witnesses a violent crime when she begins spying out her window at a neighboring family near her New York City brownstone. The movie is adapted by Pulitzer Prize– and Tony Award–winning playwright and actor Tracy Letts from author A.J. Finn’s novel of the same name. The film also stars Gary Oldman, Anthony Mackie, Brian Tyree Henry, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Julianne Moore, Wyatt Russell, and Letts. Premieres May 14 (Netflix).
• Spy City is the new six-episode drama starring Dominic Cooper as British spy Fielding Scott, who’s sent to Russia to scope out the source of info leaks in what leads up to the Six-Day War. Premieres April 15 (AMC).
• High School Musical: The Musical: The Series returns for season 2 as the East High Wildcats prepare for their spring musical, Beauty and the Beast. Premieres May 14 (Disney+).
• The end is really almost near for The Walking Dead, and in this trailer for the 24-episode 11th, and final, season, we get hints at things very familiar to TWD comics fans, including the gear of Mercer (Michael James Shaw), the leader of the Commonwealth soldiers, and the suggestion of a very different future for our zombie apocalypse survivors. Premieres August 22 (AMC).
• The Mosquito Coast is the limited series adaptation of author Paul Theroux’s bestselling novel of the same name, starring his nephew Justin Theroux, about the dangerous journey of a radical idealist and brilliant inventor, Allie Fox (Justin Theroux), who uproots his family for Mexico when they suddenly find themselves on the run from the US government. Also stars Melissa George, Logan Polish and Gabriel Bateman. Premieres April 30 (Apple TV+).
• Movie Monster,adapted from Walter Dean Myers’ National Book Award nominee of the same name, is about a 17-year-old honor student who is accused of murder and has to battle through the legal system to avoid life in prison. Stars Kelvin Harrison Jr., Jennifer Hudson, Jeffrey Wright, Jharrel Jerome, Jennifer Ehle, Rakim Mayers, Nasir ‘Nas’ Jones, Tim Blake Nelson, and John David Washington. Premieres May 7 (Netflix).


• Jupiter’s Legacy is the series that finds the first generation of superheroes ready to hand the world-saving baton to their offspring, who have a difficult time living up to their parents’ reputations or expectations. Stars Josh Duhamel and Leslie Bibb. Premieres May 7 (Netflix).
• Girls5Eva is the latest Tina Fey comedy, about members of a ’90s girl band who try to reunite and recapture their one-hit-wonder glory. Stars Sara Bareilles, Renée Elise Goldsberry, Paula Pell, and Busy Philipps. Premieres May 6 (Peacock).
• Pose, the third and final season, is set in 1994 and continues to see Billy Porter giving an awards-worthy performance in the groundbreaking series. Also stars Mj Rodriguez, Dominique Jackson, Indya Moore, Angel Bismark Curiel, Hailie Sahar, and Dyllón Burnside. Premieres May 2 (FX).
• Star Trek: Picard (Patrick Stewart) season 2 sees the return to the Trek universe of John de Lancie as Q. Also stars Alison Pill, Isa Briones, Evan Evagora, Michelle Hurd, Santiago Cabrera, Jeri Ryan, Orla Brady, and Brent Spiner. Premieres 2022 (Paramount+)
• In Star Trek: Discovery season 4, a new threat means the Federation and non-Federation worlds must work together to ensure a hopeful future. Stars Sonequa Martin-Green, Doug Jones, Anthony Rapp, Mary Wiseman, Wilson Cruz, David Ajala, Blu del Barrio, and Ian Alexander.Premieres later in 2021 (Paramount+)
• Citizen Penn is a documentary about how Sean Penn went to Haiti on a two-week volunteer trip after a devastating earthquake hit in 2010, and has been there for the last decade, where he created an organization that successfully took over management of a 50,000-person camp for displaced citizens. Premieres May 6 (Discovery+).

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Read Also: Everything We Know about Loki, the Disney+ Series


CASTING: The Walking Dead’s Samantha Morton Is The Serpent Queen in Starz Limited Series

Samantha Morton
(Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for Women in Film and TV)

The Walking Dead alum Samantha Morton has joined the cast of Starz’ upcoming drama The Serpent Queen, playing the nefarious Catherine de Medici (the titular Serpent Queen). Based on the book Catherine de Medici: Renaissance Queen of France by Leonie Frieda, the eight-episode series tells the story of the woman is “married into the 16th century French court as an orphaned teenager expected to bring a fortune in dowry and produce many heirs, only to discover that her husband is in love with an older woman … only with her intelligence and determination, she manages to keep her marriage alive and masters the bloodsport that is the monarchy better than anyone else, ruling France for 50 years,” according to the network’s description.

Atypical star Jennifer Jason Leigh has joined the cast of Amazon’s Hunters, playing Nazi hunter Chava. Season 1 star Al Pacino is not a lock to return for reason 2, though Logan Lerman and Jerrika Hinton are returning. (Deadline)

Sex and the City star Kristin Davis is teaming with executive producer Ellen Pompeo for the HBO Max dark comedy Deeds, about a desperate L.A. realtor who is forced to work with a drug-addicted, sociopathic couple who find out they’ve met their match in her. (Deadline) 


Nick Offerman

Parks and Recreation’s Nick Offerman will star in Hulu’s limited series Pam and Tommy, about the theft of the infamous Pam Anderson/Tommy Lee sex tape. Offerman will play Uncle Miltie, the porn financier who works with the electrician (Seth Rogen) who swipes the tape to get it out into the world. Sebastian Stan will play Lee, while Lily James plays Anderson.

Karen Robinson, Schitt’s Creek’s Ronnie, is joining ABC’s A Million Little Things in a recurring role as Florence, “a sweet, maternal, confident widow whose sense of humor is dwarfed only by her sense of self.” (Deadline)

Let’s Make a Deal host Wayne Brady has a recurring role on season 5 of Paramount+’s The Good Fight, playing a comedian and streaming service executive named Del Cooper, who has a professional and personal (read: romantic) relationship with the law firm. (TVLine)

Rita Wilson and This Is Us star Chrissy Metz will guest star as The Masked Singer judges on the April 21 and May 5 episodes, respectively.

Queen & Slim star Jodie Turner-Smith has exited her upcoming role as Éile in Netflix’s The Witcher: Blood Origin because of scheduling conflict. (Deadline)


PRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT: Showtime Developing Another American Remake of Queer As Folk, With Original Series Creator Russell T. Davies

QUEER AS FOLK, Randy Harrison, Gale Harold
(Photo by Everett Collection)

Peacock has picked up a remake of the original Queer As Folk, with creator of the original 1999-2000 LGBTQ British drama, Russell T. Davies (Doctor Who) serving as an executive producer and director. The original series helped launch the careers of Sons of Anarchy star Charlie Hunnam and The Wire’s Aiden Gillen, and sparked an American remake that aired on Showtime from 2000-2005. The new series will be set in New Orleans.

That Friends reunion, the one that was supposed to be filmed in 2020 and help launch HBO Max, is filming this week on the Warner Bros. lot. The special is still set to stream on HBO Max, likely this summer, and will feature all six original cast members.

HBO has ordered 10 episodes of the drama Minx, about a young feminist who collaborates with a low-rent publisher to create the first erotic magazine for women. Creator and showrunner Ellen Rapoport executive produces with Paul Feig, while Ophelia Lovibond (Elementary) , Jake Johnson (New Girl), Lennon Parham (Playing House), and Michael Angarano (This Is Us) star.

The first project under the deal between Netflix and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s Archewell Productions will be Heart of Invictus, a docuseries on the Invictus Games, the global adaptive sports competition founded by Prince Harry, from Oscar-winning collaborators (The White Helmets) director Orlando von Einsiedel and producer Joanna Natasegara. Harry will also appear in the docuseries, which follows a group of service members who will compete in the 2022 Invictus Games.

Tyler Perry’s stage-to-box office character Madea is now becoming a Showtime series, which will be a prequel story about Madea, the character Perry based on his mom and aunt. Mabel will be a drama that unfolds the story of “the force of nature known as Madea [as] she was a smart, fierce, irresistible, dangerous, crazy 20-something black woman named Mabel Simmons. When she moved to Atlanta in 1972 she set the city – and the world – on fire!” (Deadline)

Netflix has acquired an untitled Kanye West docuseries that will cover more than two decades of the musician’s life (even, presumably, the Keeping Up with the Kardashians years) and include never-before-seen footage and home videos. (Billboard)


Tom Holland headshot
(Photo by Nikki Holland/Apple TV+)

Apple TV+ has ordered the anthology series The Crowded Room, which will revolve around true and inspirational stories of those who have struggled, and learned to successfully live with, mental illness. The Akiva Goldsman–created series’ 10-episode first season will star Tom Holland (who will also executive produce along with Goldsman) in a thriller inspired by the award-winning biography The Minds of Billy Milligan by Daniel Keyes (who also wrote the classic novel Flowers for Algernon). It tells the story of Billy Milligan (Holland), the first person ever acquitted of a crime because of Multiple Personality Disorder (now known as Dissociative Identity Disorder).

Viet Thanh Nguyen’s bestselling, Pulitzer Prize–winning 2015 novel The Sympathizer is being adapted as a TV series by A24 and Rhombus Media, with South Korean director Park Chan-wook (Oldboy) directing. The book tells the story of a man as he goes through the final days of the Vietnam War and then lives in exile in Los Angeles. No network or streaming service is yet attached to the project.

Cobra Kai creators Josh Heald, Jon Hurwitz, and Hayden Schlossberg will produce, and Heald will direct a theatrical movie adaptation of the History Channel series Ancient Aliens. The docuseries has aired nearly 200 episodes, and the movie will be a “globe-spanning adventure featuring ancient sites and artifacts, confronting the theories and questions raised by the popular docuseries.” (Deadline)

They’re even wearing the socks! Fans got the first look at the stars of The CW’s live-action Powerpuff Girls series (officially titled Powerpuff) in action thanks to set photos that show Chloe Bennet, Dove Cameron, and Yana Perrault – also known as Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup – filming the pilot episode in Atlanta this week.


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