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Paul Bettany in talks to play Prince Philip in The Crown

Paul Bettany in The Secret Life of Bees

Story by Jack Foley

PAUL Bettany is closing in on a deal to play Prince Philip in Netflix drama The Crown.

The actor, best known for playing Vision in The Avengers films, would take over the role from Matt Smith, who played the prince in the first two seasons of the drama opposite Claire Foy as Queen Elizabeth II.

He would line up alongside Olivia Colman, who was recently cast as Her Royal Majesty, and Helena Bonham Carter, who has also been cast as Princess Margaret.

The third series from writer Peter Morgan will now focus on the later lives of the royal family.

In the first two seasons, the royal couple (Foy and Smith) were joined by Victoria Hamilton as the Queen Mother and Jeremy Northam as Anthony Eden.

Netflix has yet to confirm the drama will return for the next two seasons of the royals’ story.

Bettany can shortly be seen in next Avengers instalment Infinity War as well as World War I drama Journey’s End.