Season 5, which started production in the U.K. last month, features Debicki as the princess through the early 1990s and West as her estranged husband.
Debicki takes over from Emma Corrin, who played Diana in season 4 when she met and married a young Prince Charles (Josh O’Connor) and dealt with the stress of worldwide fame. Diana struggled with an eating disorder and had an affair of her own with James Hewitt (Daniel Donskoy) after learning of Charles’ extra-marital romance with Camilla Parker Bowles (Emerald Fennel).
Debicki’s recent credits include Christopher Nolan’s “Tenet.” She is also known for her roles as Ayesha in “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” and Alice in “Widows.”
West, who takes over from O’Connor, recently appeared alongside Lily James in mini-series “The Pursuit of Love.” He is also in the middle of filming “Downton Abbey 2” and “Call My Agent (UK).”
The duo will be joined in season 5 by Imelda Staunton (“Harry Potter”) as Queen Elizabeth II, Jonathan Pryce (“The Two Popes”) as Prince Philip, Lesley Manville (“Maleficent: Mistress of Evil”) as Princess Margaret and Jonny Lee Miller (“Elementary”) as John Major.
“The Crown” first premiered on Netflix in 2016 with the premise of following the British royal family through the decades, beginning with the death of George VI and the subsequent coronation of his daughter, Queen Elizabeth II, in 1952. Key figures are recast every two seasons to reflect the characters’ age.
Season 5 will likely see the family through the Queen’s so-called “annus horribilis” in 1992, during which three of her four children separated from their partners — including Prince Charles and Diana — as well as the public revelation of Charles and Camilla’s affair and the publication of Prince Andrew’s wife Sarah Ferguson sunbathing topless with a male friend.
It is unclear whether season 5 will stretch to include Diana’s 1997 death in a fatal car crash or whether that must wait until season 6, which is said to be “The Crown’s” final season. Producers have also declined to say whether they will depict a re-enactment of the crash in the show.