Actor Paul Bettany is going to be trading in his Avengers uniform for a crown if new reports turn out to be true. The English actor, who plays the android Vision in the superhero franchise, is in talks to join the Netflix series The Crown as Prince Philip.
He would be taking over the role from former Doctor Who star Matt Smith, who portrayed Prince Philip for the show’s first two seasons.
(Ironically, Smith’s former Doctor Who co-star, Jenna Coleman, is now starring in her own royal television series: as Queen Victoria in the aptly titled Victoria).
Creator Peter Morgan always intended to refresh the show’s cast every two seasons as the series jumps forward in time to portray the life of Queen Elizabeth II.
Claire Foy portrayed the queen in the show’s first two seasons but will be replaced by Broadchurch star Olivia Coleman for Seasons 3 and 4.
As previously reported, Oscar winner Helena Bonham Carter will be playing Princess Margaret in the next two seasons, taking over from actress Vanessa Kirby.
Bettany, who recently starred as Ted Kaczynski in the television miniseries Manhunt: Unabomber, has not signed on yet but is in talks with The Crown‘s producers.
The actor will appear in two high-profile blockbuster films this year, Solo: A Star Wars Story, and will reprise his role as Vision in Avengers: Infinity War.
The Crown is intended to chronicle Queen Elizabeth’s reign from her coronation to the present day, with the first season covering her marriage to Prince Philip in 1947 and the second season ending with the birth of Prince Edward in 1964.
Six seasons are planned overall, with the third season to possibly cover Princess Margaret’s five-year affair with gardening expert Robert Llewelyn.
Of course, that means that after the fourth season concludes, Coleman, Bettany, and Bonham Carter will likely depart in order for another set of actors to inherit the roles.