Can they call Ralph Fiennes now?

Just a few days ago it was reported that Paul Bettany was in talks to join "The Crown" Season 3 as the older Prince Philip. "In talks" usually leads to "got the role," but not this time.

Apparently he withdrew his name for consideration, with TVLine saying "the 'Beautiful Mind' actor was ultimately unable to sign on the dotted line due to scheduling conflicts." He does have a lot going on between playing Vision in the "Avengers" movies to his new role in "Solo: A Star Wars Story." Even if he's done filming (and they could always send him back for reshoots), there's still worldwide promotion.

So that means we still need a Prince Philip to replace Matt Smith. And yes they are committed to recasting the Season 3 roles with older stars instead of artificially aging the younger cast. The original cast is beyond phenomenal, but they knew the drill when they signed on. Multi-award-winning Claire Foy is out, and Olivia Colman is in as Queen Elizabeth II. Vanessa Kirby is out and Helena Bonham Carter is reportedly in as Princess Margaret.

Who should be the new Philip, if not Paul Bettany? Ralph Fiennes would be a good option, if they can get him. At 55, he's already more age appropriate for an older Philip than Paul Bettany at 45. Or, you know what, Christopher Plummer lives to be called at the last minute to replace people -- give him a ring. So what if he's even older than they wanted?

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The Crown TV Show Poster
The Crown
NETFLIXTVMANovember 4, 2016
Based on 29 critics

The life and reign of Queen Elizabeth II and the events that helped shape the 20th century. Read More

Watch on Netflix