Netflix Close to Ordering British Royal Drama from ‘Frost/Nixon’ Scribe Peter Morgan
The next original series to be picked up by Netflix could be “The Crown,” a historical drama about the life of Queen Elizabeth II from Academy Award nominees Peter Morgan and Stephen Daldry.
According to multiple media reports, Netflix is close to a deal to acquire the project, which is based on Morgan’s critically-acclaimed stage play “The Audience.” The play follows the life of the Queen, from her ascension in 1952 to present day, centering on weekly audiences she would give to British prime ministers. The plan is to have multiple actresses portray The Queen, according to The Daily Mail, which first reported on the negotiations.
If the deal goes through, it would also be Netflix’s biggest one to date. The price for “The Crown” is reportedly $170 million, far north of the $100 million Netflix paid for the first two seasons of “House of Cards.” (Some of the price increase can be attributed to the fact that Netflix will be available in more territories when “The Crown” is ready than it was when “House of Cards” first premiered.)
“The Crown” would also be Netflix’s second original historical drama*: “Marco Polo,” produced by The Weinstein Company and Electus, is scheduled to premiere in the fall (rumored price-tag for this show: $90 million).
“The Crown” is set-up through Sony Pictures Television, which is behind another Netflix original, a still-untitled drama from “Damages” creators Todd A. Kessler, Glenn Kessler, and Daniel Zelman. Sony has a long-standing relationship with Netflix, having inked various domestic and international licensing pacts for shows like “Breaking Bad” and “Justified.”
Executive producers for the drama include Morgan (“The Queen,” “Frost/Nixon”), Daldry (“Billy Elliot,” “The Hours”), Andy Harries of Left Bank Pictures, Robert Fox, and Matthew Byam Shaw. Morgan will pen the show, with Daldry directing the first few episodes.
Morgan and Daldry are both repped by CAA.
* Netflix also has “Narcos,” a drama about the life of Colombian drug kingpin Pablo Escobar, in the works. So based on how you define “historical drama,” “The Crown” could be the streaming service’s third.Tags: Historical Drama, Left Bank Pictures, Netflix, netflix originals, Peter Morgan, Sony Pictures Television, Stephen Daldry, The Crown