Netflix series The Crown is not adverse to making some pretty outrageous casting decisions, as was proven last season when Gillian Anderson was transformed into Margaret Thatcher despite being one of the last people you could consider playing her if given an infinite list of options. Today, Netflix have done it again with the announcement that Trainspotting and Elementary star Jonny Lee Miller has been cast as UK Prime Minister John Major in another hard to comprehend move.
John Major served as UK Prime Minister from the end of Margaret Thatcher’s run in 1990 to when he was defeated by Tony Blair in the 1997 General Election. Serving under Thatcher for three years leading up to his succession of her, Major is generally well thought of among the British public although he has suffered as tabloid fodder thanks to an affair with fellow minister Edwina Curry. So far so The Crown is concerned, Major was PM for the last few years of the life of Princess Diana prior to her untimely death in 1997.
The casting of Jonny Lee Miller, as noted, is one of the series’ left-field choices, and certainly drew a reaction on social media. Miller first appeared on TV in UK soap Eastenders and the Helen Mirren series Prime Suspect before going global thanks to his role of Sick Boy in Danny Boyle’s hit Trainspotting. In recent years, Miller has become known for playing a modern day version of Sherlock Holmes in the series Elementary, alongside Lucy Liu as a female iteration of Watson.
The new season of The Crown is due to start filming next month and sees a brand new cast of actors taking over the roles of some of the iconic members of the British Royal Family and those around them. Tenet star Elizabeth Debicki appears as Princess Diana; Dominic West takes on the role of Prince Charles; Imelda Staunton plays the Queen while Jonathan Pryce is Prince Philip and Lesley Manville is the Queen’s sister, Princess Margaret.
The Crown originally premiered on in 2016, with the first season set in the 1940s and early 50s. The show has gone on to chart the subsequent decades and key events involving the family, with some artistic license. Having moved through the 60s and 70s in season 3, then into the 80s in season 4, the new season will head into another new decade, and one that would be traumatic and pivotal to the Royals and send shockwaves around the world in the process.
The fifth season will deal with the Queen’s “annus horribilis”, which saw the marriage break ups of many royal marriages as well as a devastating fire at Windsor Palace, and will also deal with the death of Diana, Princess of Wales. The series will conclude with a final sixth season, which will look at the aftermath of Diana’s death and move into the new millennium. There is currently no air for either season, but season 5 will likely air sometime in mid-2022 with the final season following sometime the following year at the earliest. This comes to us from Variety.