The Crown showrunner Peter Morgan has revealed the show’s fourth season will hit Netflix in November, avoiding a major delay.
The period drama tells the story of the British royal family across several decades, with Olivia Colman currently starring as Queen Elizabeth II.
Filming on The Crown season four was entering its final stage in March, as the coronavirus began to take hold of the UK, meaning production was ultimately forced to wrap two weeks early.
Rather than hold off until those final scenes could be shot, Morgan decided to scrap them and piece together season four from the material they had available.
“In order to hit the release schedule for season four, we needed to start editing and lock episodes, which we’ve been doing throughout this time,” he told The Hollywood Reporter. “And everything takes much longer under these new social distancing regulations and rules.
“So if we’d, for example, waited until next month, when a number of people are starting to film again in late August/beginning of September, to pick up these extra scenes, I think a) everyone would have been out of the rhythm of it and it would have felt very strange, and b) I think it would have compromised our post schedule.
“And we had to weigh up, ‘Is it worth it or not?’ And, actually, that we’re still able to hit our release schedule in November for season four has been worth it.”
Some fans had speculated that The Crown season four would arrive in November, roughly a year after the previous batch of episodes, but this confirmation is noteworthy amid such a troubled production cycle.
Season four will be the last hurrah for Colman and the current The Crown cast, which also includes Tobias Menzies and Helena Bonham Carter, as they pass the baton to another generation for seasons five and six.
Imelda Staunton will take over as Queen Elizabeth II, while Elizabeth Debicki has recently been cast as Princess Diana.