Jonny Lee Miller Cast as John Major in ‘The Crown’


Jonny Lee Miller, star of CBS’s take on Sherlock Holmes, Elementary, has landed the role of British prime minister John Major in season 5 of Netflix’s The Crown. The show’s Twitter account confirmed the casting.

Miller joins confirmed cast members Imelda Staunton, Lesley Manville, Jonathan Pryce, Elizabeth Debicki and Dominic West. They will play the Queen, Princess Margaret, Prince Philip, Princess Diana and Prince Charles, respectively.

Jonny Lee Miller is probably best known to American audiences as Sherlock Holmes opposite Lucy Liu as Watson in Elementary, which ran for seven series and 154 episodes from 2012-2019. However, to British audiences, the London-born actor shot to fame as Simon ‘Sick Boy’ Williamson Danny Boyle’s 1996 film adaptation of Irvine Welsh’s novel, Trainspotting. The dark-comedy drama, which had a sequel in 2017, T2:Trainspotting, follows the lives of drug-addicted Edinburgh outcasts.

The casting of Miller as John Major raised eyebrows on social media as many noted the actor’s uncanny lack of resemblance to the Prime Minister who was nicknamed ‘The Grey Man’ for his appearance.

Yet Miller, 48, is actually a year older than Major was when he became prime minister in November 1990. 

What could feature for Miller in season 5?

A sixth season is planned for The Crown, making it possible that Major will be the only prime minister to feature in season 5. 

Season 4 concluded after Thatcher’s resignation and the sixth series is said to only go up to the early 2000s. 

Miller could tackle Major’s leading of the Conservative Party to a surprise 1992 electoral victory in the series, where he toured the country speaking to crowds on a soapbox. Other events of a Major nature which may feature include the economic crisis known as Black Wednesday, party infighting over the EU Maastricht Treaty, Major’s description of cabinet colleagues as “bastards”, and his “put up or shut up” leadership resignation and re-run in 1995. 

Filming for season 5 of The Crown will start next month. A release date is not yet known, though it’s widely expected that it will not be released until 2022.

Words by Ivan Morris Poxton

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