Netflix has confirmed the arrival of its first original show from the UK, a £100m biopic of the Queen.
The Crown, produced by Left Bank in association with Sony Pictures Television, is a new ten-part series which is due to land on Netflix in 2016 and forms a part of the VoD service’s push into original content.
The series tells the inside story of Queen Elizabeth II and her relationship with post-war Downing Street. It is based on the West End play The Audience, and written by The Queen and Frost/Nixon writer Peter Morgan. The series will be directed by Billy Elliot’s Stephen Daldry.
Netflix implied that there was scope for further series, detailing that each season of The Crown would explore the different periods and political rivalries across Queen Elizabeth II’s reign from the age of 26.
The series will be executive produced by Left Bank chief executive Andy Harries, who produced The Queen, alongside Morgan and Daldry. Robert Fox and Matthew Byam Shaw will also executive produce.
Vice president of original content at Netflix Cindy Holland said: “The Crown is storytelling that lives somewhere between television and cinema from Britain’s foremost chroniclers of modern politics, class and society… It tells the inside story of two of the most famous addresses in the world – Buckingham Palace and 10 Downing Street – and the intrigues, love lives and machinations behind the great events that shaped the second half of the 20th century”.
Morgan said: “The Crown is not only about the royal family but about an empire in decline, a world in disarray and the dawn of a new era. I am beyond thrilled to be reunited with partners from film, theatre and television for this epic project and delighted to be working for the first time with Netflix.”
The first series begins with the early part of Elizabeth II’s reign as a “25-year-old princess faced with the daunting prospect of leading the most famous monarchy in the world while forging a relationship with the domineering, war-hardened prime minister Winston Churchill”.
Andy Harries described the series as “hugely ambitious and surprising” and that it “perfectly captures the changes and complexities of a post war world”.
“Peter is a writer at the height of his powers and Stephen Daldry is one of the most entertaining and original film directors in the world. The series will be hugely ambitious and surprising, and perfectly captures the changes and complexities of a postwar world.”
Daldry, whose credits include Billy Elliot and The Hours, added: “Peter Morgan’s scripts turn a tumultuous period of history into a thrilling story on an epic scale; dealing with both intimate relationships and international affairs. I cannot wait to bring The Crown to life for a global audience on Netflix.
The Crown, details of which first surfaced in May, will be produced by Left Bank Pictures in association with Sony Pictures Television. Morgan, Daldry and Harries will be executive producers along with Robert Fox and Matthew Byam Shaw.