The third season of Netflix drama The Crown is only a week old, but the next actor to the play the Queen has been found already according to a UK report.

Imelda Staunton will take over as Queen Elizabeth for the fifth and sixth seasons of the series, the Daily Mail said.

Staunton would replace Olivia Colman who plays the Queen in the current third season and the upcoming fourth season. Claire Foy played a young Elizabeth in the first two seasons.

However, Netfix has denied the report. The company told Deadline: "We are currently filming season four of The Crown but have not commissioned any further seasons yet, therefore any news on casting remains pure speculation."

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Oscar-nominated Staunton, 63, has had a long career on screen and on stage.
She's best known for Vera Drake, in which she played the title character, and roles in Maleficent and the recent Downton Abbey movie.

But for one generation, Staunton is best known as sadistic teacher Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter franchise.

Imelda Staunton in the film Vera Drake. Photo / Supplied
Imelda Staunton in the film Vera Drake. Photo / Supplied

The Crown debuted on Netflix in 2016 to wide acclaim. The series follows the tribulations of the British royal family from the time of Queen Elizabeth's marriage to Prince Philip. The current third season takes place from the mid-1960s to the late-1970s.

Season four will introduce Princess Diana as a character. She will be played by relative unknown lookalike Emma Corrin.

The fourth season is expected to take the show till the mid-1980s. Because no casting news has been announced on Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, it's possible it will stop before Fergie married Prince Andrew in the late 1980s.

Potential fifth and sixth seasons will likely feature the divorces of Charles and Diana, Andrew and Fergie, the burning of Windsor Castle and the death of Diana.

The Crown creator Peter Morgan has previously penned The Queen, starring Helen Mirren, which told the story of Diana's death in 1997 and the public uproar over the Queen's taciturn response.

Morgan has signed an overall deal to develop TV series and movies for Netflix.

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