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Netflix To Spend £100 Million On Drama About The Queen

Written by Peter Morgan and following the life of Queen Elizabeth II, this will be the first original Netflix series made in the UK.

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Netflix is spend £100 million on an epic drama series following the reign of Queen Elizabeth II – the first time it's made an original show in the UK.

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The series will be written by Peter Morgan, who wrote the Oscar-winning film The Queen, featuring Helen Mirren. It will reportedly feature 20 hour-long episodes, taking viewers from the moment she heard of the death of her father, George VI, to the modern day.

The first few episodes – which called The Crown – will be directed by Stephen Daldry, who directed the Morgan-scripted play The Audience, also featuring Mirren.

Casting is on-going, although it's clear the series will need several actresses to play Elizabeth over six decades.

According to sources quoted in the Daily Mail, the BBC and ITV were both involved in a bidding war for the rights.

The show will be made by independent production company Left Bank Pictures, owned by Sony Pictures Televison.

Despite widespread reports, Netflix hasn't offically confirmed the series yet and hasn't responded to our request for comment. Left Bank said it couldn't comment on the project.

All the pomp and pageantry of the royal household will no doubt mean there is a huge international audience for this.

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The Queen, directed by Stephen Frears and made by ITV's Granada Productions, made $56 million at the box office worldwide despite being originally planned as a TV special.

At this point, not many people whould bet against Helen Mirren being cast in the lead role.

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She won 29 awards for her portrayal of Elizabeth in The Queen, including the Oscar for best actress.

This is further evidence Netflix is a now serious force in original entertainment.

Dark political drama House of Cards found critical acclaim and helped Netflix to 46 million paying subscribers – one quarter of which are outside the US.

The company just announced plans to launch in six more European countries, including France and Germany, two years after its debut in the UK and Ireland.