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The Crown: Paul Bettany in talks to play Prince Philip

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Paul Bettany might soon feel the weight of The Crown.

The actor is near a deal to succeed Matt Smith in the role of Prince Philip in seasons 3 and 4 of Netflix’s big-budget hit, EW has confirmed. (The Daily Mail‘s Baz Bamigboye was first to report the ongoing negotiations between the actor and streamer.)

Smith has portrayed Queen Elizabeth II’s husband in the first two seasons of The Crown — which span from the couple’s wedding in 1947 to the birth of their fourth child, Prince Edward, in 1964 — but the show is switching its cast to capture the monarch’s next chapter.

In October, Olivia Colman was picked to take over for Emmy winner Claire Foy as Queen Elizabeth. In January, EW confirmed that Helena Bonham Carter was nearing a deal to portray the queen’s sister, Princess Margaret.

Season 2 debuted on Dec. 8. A premiere date for season 3 has not yet been announced.

Netflix had no comment.

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