The producers of smash Netflix hit ‘The Crown’ are poised to choose Olivia Colman as the replacement for the departing Claire Foy for the upcoming third and fourth series, it has been widely reported.

The acclaimed ‘Broadchurch’ and ‘The Night Manager’ star, 43, is to step into the role of Queen Elizabeth II in the Netflix series for its third season, as the narrative moves closer to the present and the character of the Queen requires an older actor.

‘The Crown’ is a dramatisation of the Queen’s engagement to Prince Philip and then telling the story of her reign, and the third and fourth series are set after 1963. Colman is so far the only confirmed cast member for the new series, but Matt Smith, who plays Prince Philip, is also set to be replaced with an older actor.

Olivia ColmanOlivia Colman might be replacing Claire Foy in 'The Crown'

33 year old Claire Foy picked up a Golden Globe award this year for her highly acclaimed role as the young Queen Elizabeth in the first two series, the second of which is set to debut on Netflix on December 8th this year.

More: Claire Foy and Matt Smith admit they might not be in the third season of ‘The Crown’ [archive]

However, ‘The Crown’s creator, Peter Morgan, has always been forthright about his intentions to refresh the cast every two seasons over a total running length of 60 episodes, maintaining that older actors would bring different energies to the various scenes.

Claire FoyClaire Foy filming 'The Crown' in 2016

“The feelings we all have as 50 year olds are different than the feelings we all have as 30 year olds,” he said. “That informs everything we do.”

Production is set to begin on seasons three and four of ‘The Crown’ in 2018.

More: Olivia Colman admits ‘Broadchurch’ left her “struggling for work” [archive]