Sources tell Variety that West is in late-stage discussions for the role, though the deal isn’t done. The actor would play Charles in the final two seasons of the Netflix drama. He will star opposite Elizabeth Debicki as Princess Diana. Seasons 5 and 6 “The Crown” will take the royal family into the 1990s and early 2000s.
Charles was previously played by Josh O’Connor, and news of West’s casting comes just under a month before the series returns for season 4 on Nov. 15.
West is best known to U.S. audiences for his central roles in “The Wire” and “The Affair.” The latter role earned him two Golden Globe nominations. He will next appear opposite Lily James in the BBC adaptation of Nancy Mitford’s classic novel “The Pursuit of Love.”
“The Crown” has followed the royal family through multiple time periods, beginning in the late 1940s and early 1950s with Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip’s marriage and early careers. Season 3 jumped forward in time to the 1960s and 1970s, with season 4 taking the narrative through the ’80s and introducing Princess Diana for the first time (played by Emma Corrin).
The upcoming season will largely center around Charles and Diana’s tempestuous marriage, and one can only assume that the final two seasons will deal with the couple’s divorce, as well as Diana’s tragic death in 1997. Seasons 5 and 6 will also feature Imelda Staunton as Queen Elizabeth, Jonathan Pryce as Prince Philip, and Lesley Manville as Princess Margaret.
“Crown” showrunner Peter Morgan originally planned to have the series run for five seasons, before changing his mind and confirming it would be coming back for a sixth and final season earlier this year.
“As we started to discuss the storylines for Series 5, it soon became clear that in order to do justice to the richness and complexity of the story we should go back to the original plan and do six seasons. To be clear, Series 6 will not bring us any closer to present-day — it will simply enable us to cover the same period in greater detail,” explained Morgan at the time.
News of West’s casting was first reported by The Sun.
Naman Ramachandran contributed to this report.