Production on the fifth season of The Crown ended early thanks to an outbreak of COVID. Netflix confirmed to Variety that there were multiple cases of the virus on set. The news comes as the Omicron variant continues to spread worldwide.
The streamer said in a statement, “The Crown finished filming one day earlier than planned for the Christmas break following a few positive cases within the team, thus ensuring others’ safety and so that everyone on production can enjoy a festive break with their loved ones.” The Daily Mail first reported the news of the outbreak and claimed eight crew members have tested positive for the virus.
For now, production of The Crown is set to resume in early January, but of course the COVID picture is fluid as we head into the holidays. It’s possible that in the coming weeks other film and television productions will be affected by the COVID surge and new variant as well.
The newest season of The Crown has brought in a new cast once again. This will be the first season with Imelda Staunton as Queen Elizabeth II, Dominic West as Prince Charles, and Elizabeth Debicki as Princess Diana.
The new season will cover time when Tony Blair (portrayed by Bertie Carvel) was prime minister. West’s 13-year-old son Senan will play Prince William. Six seasons in total are planned for the Emmy-award winning show.
As the show has begun to cover more recent events, including the marriage of Charles and Diana, its version of history has become more controversial. In December 2020, Netflix was pressured to put a disclaimer before episodes making it clear that the show was a work of fiction and not a documentary. The streamer refused.
Emma Corrin, who portrayed Princess Diana in season four, defended the decision, saying “This is fictitious in the same way people don’t mistake Succession for what actually happened with the Murdochs. I also understand [the request] comes from a place of sensitivity and protectiveness of the royal family and Diana.”