Netflix has already provided us with countless hours of binge-watching entertainment, but the company is stepping up its game this year. In addition to promising the release of over a dozen new original series in 2016, the streaming service has just dropped the first trailer for arguably its most ambitious show yet — the royal period drama, The Crown.
The series hails from Oscar-nominated screenwriter Peter Morgan (The Queen, Frost/Nixon) and director Stephen Daldry (Billy Elliot, The Hours). Inspired by the award-winning play The Audience (which both Morgan and Daldry also worked together on), The Crown will showcase the inner workings of Westminster, Buckingham Palace, and 10 Downing Street. The 10-episode first season will focus on the early years of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign, with Clare Foy starring as a young Elizabeth.
The just-released trailer gives audiences their first glimpse at Foy’s Elizabeth as she faces leading the most famous domain in the world, as well as forging a relationship with the domineering, war-hardened Prime Minister Winston Churchill. In the clip, the character is seen trying on the crown for the first time. “It’s not as easy as it looks,” she says while attempting to walk with the crown perched on her head.
Those words are all too true, as she soon finds out. Despite getting thrown headfirst into a political world in disarray, the Queen is able to hold her own, as the trailer clearly shows. The clip shows her standing up to Prime Minister Churchill (John Lithgow) and putting her husband Prince Phillip (Matt Smith) in his place. Victoria Hamilton and Jared Harris are also part of the show’s talented ensemble cast, playing the Queen Mother and George VI, respectively.
For Netflix, the show is one of its most biggest investments to date. The streaming service’s budget for the upcoming series allegedly stands at about $100 million — even more expensive than the similarly high price tag allotted to last year’s Marco Polo.
It’s evident from the trailer that all that money was put to good use. The footage is jam-packed with lush, elaborate costumes and spectacular sets. And that’s just the beginning. Though the show has only been green-lit for one season so far, Netflix reportedly hopes to keep the series around for quite some time, with the plan being for each future season to cover a different decade of Queen Elizabeth’s reign.
While we’ll have to stay tuned to see if The Crown becomes Netflix’s latest hit, there’s no question that the show is arriving at a good time. TV’s most popular British period drama, Downton Abbey, is coming to an end this year, and from the looks of the trailer, The Crown may be the perfect show to help fill that void.
Netflix has not confirmed an exact premiere date for The Crown just yet, but the show is expected to become available for streaming at some point later this year alongside The Get Down, Love, and a slew of other original titles.