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20 November, 2020

Our analysis on the cast of the Crown before the release of new season on Netflix got a great interest by public and the press. The Next Web platform wrote about the analysis as the following:


This AI is unimpressed by Gillian Anderson’s casting in The Crown. The system predicted which stars will shine in their roles — and which will fade into darkness. The Crown has returned to Netflix with a host of new actors joining the star-studded cast. But a new AI analysis suggests not all of them have the royal touch required for their roles.

The system was developed by Largo Films, a Swiss firm that provides data-driven analytics to the movie industry. The company used machine learning to predict which of the thespians will capture the public’s hearts — and which ones will have them dreaming of the guillotine.



Here a shortlist of other articles on our analysis:


Read the full press release below:



  • Imelda Staunton outranks Claire Foy and Olivia Coleman as best matched for Queen Elizabeth to date but Janet McTeer OBE takes the AI crown with highest ranking score
  • Dominic West royally screwed as he misses the mark with Aidan Turner scoring most favourable match to play Prince Charles
  • Meghan Markle ranks as least favourite AI match to play her mother-in-law, Princess Diana
  • Lesley Harcourt sweeps AI victory for the iconic role of Princess Diana
  • Jodhi May pips Gillian Anderson to the iron-post as best match to play Baroness Thatcher
  • Vanessa Kirby best matched for Princess Margaret to date but Elizabeth McGovern sweeps AI victory
  • Emmy Clarke revealed as best match to play a possible future Koo Stark
  • Tobias Menzies outperforms Matt Smith but Matthew Macfayden ranks as best matched for the role of Prince Philip



11th NOVEMBER 2020: With Netflix’s sumptuous royal saga, The Crown, set to hit UK screens from this Sunday for its fourth series, award-winning artificial intelligence (AI) provider for the movie industry,, has put the most iconic roles of the cast; past, present and future, under the machine learning microscope to reveal which of the actors have the biggest audience pull-power as best matched for the role. Arguably TV’s most coveted gig, helping to launch alumni such as Claire Foy and Vanessa Kirby into Hollywood, the fourth series’ most notable additions include Emma Corrin who will step into the iconic role of Diana Princess of Wales, Gillian Anderson as Margaret Thatcher and Tom Byrne as Prince Andrew. Whilst many of the roles for seasons five and six have been confirmed, the rumour mill has hit fever pitch as to whether Dominic West will take over from Josh O’Connor to play Prince Charles and whether the controversial role of Koo Stark will be cast. For the first time in TV production history, these past, present and future contenders have all been put head to head to determine their official compatibility with the role through an AI scoring system that uses cutting edge technology to cross compare the role’s DNA footprint with that of the actors’.



The new cocktail of talent has been hailed by critics this week as promising The Crown’s best ever season with a stunning performance from Emma Corrin. Royal biographer, Ingrid Stewart, has heavily criticised1 Matt Smith’s depiction of Prince Philip as ‘uptight’ and with his ‘mannerisms all wrong’. Gillian Anderson’s performance as Margaret Thatcher has also been panned2 in some reviews as ‘over-egging her Thatcher impression to such an extent she is close to unwatchable.’ Interestingly, this all aligns with the’s scoring system which depicts Matt Smith as the worst matched for Prince Philip to date (70.3%), whilst Gillian Anderson scores a lack-lustre 76.3%, which is considered to be a risky match for the role. Corrin fares far more favourably with a dazzling 90.6%.


Diana, Princess of Wales

Arguably The Crown’s most anticipated role of the entire £100 million S4 production and the TV gig of the decade, relative newcomer Emma Corrin will take up the life-changing role of Princess Diana with a reassuring compatibility score of 90.6%.  This pips Australian actress Elizabeth Debicki, confirmed to take on the role from S5, to the royal post with a score of 88.1%. Topping the bill as AI’s best-match for the role by a wide margin with 96.3% is star of STV’s crime-drama Taggart, Scottish actress Lesley Harcourt who played Princess Diana in 2011’s William & Catherine: A Royal Romance. Ranking as second favourite, Nymphomaniac and The Cry star Sophie Kennedy Clark (93.2%). Next in line with 91.5% is Manchester-born actress Sophie Skelton best known for her role as Brianna Randall Fraser in Starz drama series, Outlander, followed closely by British American actress Lucy Boynton (91.2%) who made her debut in Miss Potter and is best known for her role as Mary Austin in Bohemian Rhapsody. Largo’s AI-assisted casting also produced some thought-provoking results when widening the casting net to the star of Netflix drama, RebeccaLily James scoring 76.2% as a possible candidate for the role of Princess Diana – potentially starring alongside Dominic West, hotly tipped for the role of Prince Charles. Last and by no means least, former Spooks actress Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, ranks as least well-matched to step into her mother-in-law’s shoes with 67.1%.



Baroness Margaret Thatcher, County of Lincolnshire

Another eagerly anticipated debut lined up for series four is the introduction of X Files and Sex Education star Gillian Anderson who will feature as history’s very own Iron Lady, Margaret Thatcher. Despite the British actress cutting a convincing portrayal in first look images released earlier this month, AI ranks her compatibility with the role at just 76.3%. Ranking much more favourably with 95.6% is English actress, Jodhi May, best known for her film appearances in Last of the Mohicans and A Quiet Passion. Ranking as second favourite is Academy-award winning Scottish actress Tilda Swinton (We Need To Talk About Kevin, The Chronicles of Narnia) with 93.5%. Also ranking in the top three with 92.5% is fellow Scottish actress Shirley Henderson best known for playing Gail in Trainspotting and more recently Star Wars: Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker.



Largo’s AI scoring system works by creating a DNA footprint of each actor which comprises over 1000 on-screen character attributes, such as character typology, story elements, and cinematographic tones. The system then analyses each of these attributes – weighing up audience reaction by cross-comparing the data against historic films.  The system also looks at the actual TV or film character (Diana Princess of Wales rather than Emma Corrin, the actor) and creates another DNA footprint for the character. It then cross compares the actor’s DNA footprint against the characters. In this instance, the software looks for correlation between the two. This is crucial given research and previous projects have found a very high correlation between the success of a movie or TV series and the actor/character match rate – such correlation is more important than the popularity of the actor. A score of over 90% indicates an excellent match and over 80% is still considered to be a good match. Any score below 80% is considered to be a risky match and below 70% indicates high risk, putting audience appeal and, in the case of film releases, Box Office revenues at risk.



Queen Elizabeth II

Putting past, present and future Queens head to head, Imelda Staunton (confirmed for S5 and S6) triumphs with a score of 91.2%, outperforming national treasure Olivia Coleman (88.6%) and Claire Foy with a score of just 83.6%. Taking the definitive AI crown as best overall fit for the role of Queen Elizabeth II with a score of 94.1% is Golden Globe award-winning British actress Janet McTeer OBE, one of the world’s most versatile actresses transitioning from the UK to Broadway and Hollywood, best known for her role as cartel lawyer Helen Pierce in Netflix’ crime-drama, Ozark. Ranking as second AI favourite for the role of Queen Elizabeth is Oscar and Academy Award winning British movie legend Julie Christie (93.7%), an icon of the swinging London era best known for her roles in Far from the Madding Crowd and Doctor Zhivago. Next in line, star of Trainspotting and Line of Duty Scottish actress, Kelly Macdonald, proves to be a worthy contender with a score of 93.4%. Macdonald played Princess Margaret in her ‘60s glam years’ for Sky Arts comedy Urban Myths. Next up with 93.2% is BAFTA-award winning Emily Watson OBE who starred as Queen Elizabeth in A Royal Night Out and is best known for her roles in Gosford Park and Breaking the Waves. Arguably the most famous depiction of Queen Elizabeth to date for which she scooped an Academy Award in The Queen, also written by The Crown creator, Peter Morgan, the legendary Dame Helen Mirren DBE ranks as fifth favourite with 93.0%. Reported to have been frontrunner to play Queen Elizabeth II in the first season of The Crown but losing out to Claire Foy, artificial intelligence found Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and The Theory of Everything star Felicity Jones to be a superior match to Foy  with a score of 92.6%.



Charles, Prince of Wales

English actor Josh O’Connor will once again take the reins as Prince Charles for S4 scoring a respectable 93.0%. Taking a more measured look at the debate getting most fans’ hot under the collar; star of The Affair, Dominic West, is still being fervently speculated to step into Prince Charles’ shoes for S5. Yet reveals a poor character compatibility score of just 69.8%, ranking him firmly behind the likes of Colin Firth (88.5%) and Hugh Grant (78.7%).  A deeper dive into Prince Charles knocked the residing O’Connor clean off the top spot with Irish actor Aidan Turner (The Hobbit, Poldark) topping the bill with 96.1% followed closely by Naked and Wonder Woman star David Thewlis (96.0%) best known for his role as Remes Lupin in the Harry Potter film franchise. Next up, award-winning Happy-Go-Lucky star, Eddie Marsan proves a worthy candidate with a score of 93.0% followed by BAFTA-award-winning Irish actor, director, producer and screenwriter Sir Kenneth Branagh (Henry V, Much Ado About Nothing) with 91.9%.



HRH Princess Margaret

There is no character more eventful than Queen Elizabeth’s younger sister, Princess Margaret and the role is the brightest and most colourful jewel in the crown. Vanessa Kirby’s free-spirited portrayal in seasons one and two launched her into Hollywood and she has since gone on to be Oscar nominated. Indeed, a look under the AI microscope reveals Kirby to rank as the most favourably matched to the role with 91.6% compatibility, outperforming Lesley Manville (91.1%) who will play season’s five and six and also Helena Bonham Carter (89.7%) who anchored the post for season three and the soon-to-air four. A deeper dive into the character’s DNA and its most favourably matched suitors according to AI reveals a number of higher-ranking contenders including; American actress and Downton Abbey star Elizabeth McGovern who sweeps an AI victory with a score of 94.3%. Second in line with a score of 93.9%, Dame Harriet Walter DBE (Sense and Sensibility, Atonement, The Governess), best known for her portrayal as Natalie Chandler in ITV’s Law & Order and as Lady Prudence Shackleton in Downton Abbey. Ranking as third favourite is star of Trainspotting and Line of Duty Scottish actress, Kelly Macdonald, with 93.8%. Macdonald played Princess Margaret in her ‘60s glam years’ for Sky Arts comedy Urban Myths. Next up, English and Golden-Globe winning actress Ruth Wilson, best known for her roles as Alice Morgan in Luther and Alison Lockhart in The Affair – ranks as fourth favourite with a score of 93.7%.



Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh

Reportedly not The Crown’s biggest fan exclaiming ‘Don’t. Be. Ridiculous,’ when asked if he watches the show, Prince Philip remains one of the series’ principal players. According to AI Jonathan Pryce, who is set to take over from Tobias Menzies in S5 and S6 ranks as the most compatible match cast yet with 86.3%, outperforming his predecessors, Games of Thrones star Tobias Menzies (80.1%) who will take over from Matt Smith (70.3%) for S4.  Back on the virtual casting couch, those more suitably matched include BAFTA-winning film, TV and stage actor Matthew Macfayden with a landslide AI victory of 97.8%; Macfayden’s portrayal of Mr Darcy in Joe Wright’s Pride & Prejudice makes a compelling case. Second in line is one of the most respected acting talents of his generation and in cinematic history Sir Daniel Day-Lewis with 97.0%, despite now being retired. Ranking as third favourite with 95.1% is English actor Mathew Goode (Stoker, The Imitation Games, Chasing Liberty) best known in TV for his portrayal of Henry Talbot in Downton Abbey. Next up is BAFTA-award-winning Irish actor, director, producer and screenwriter Sir Kenneth Branagh (Henry V, Much Ado About Nothing) with 91.9%, followed by Harry Potter star Sir Michael Gambon CBE with 94.3%. Hotly speculated to take over from Tobias Menzies for seasons five and six, Jim Broadbent (Iris, Longford) interestingly ranks as a more favourable match than the newly confirmed Jonathan Pryce with a score of 93.4% compared to Jonathan’s 86.3%.



HRH Prince Andrew


Said to be the Queen’s favourite son but falling spectacularly from grace over the last twelve months, the role of Prince Andrew will make its debut for season four chronicling his love affair with Koo Stark and his notorious marriage to Sarah Ferguson. Newcomer Tom Byrne has been cast for S4 and the Black Mirror export ranks as a favourable match with 91.5%. According to AI, the best possible matches include Harry Eden (95.0%) who is best known for playing Nibs in Peter Pan and the Artful Dodger in Roman Polanski’s Oliver Twist. Whilst The Crown creator Peter Morgan has expressly he will not cover the scandal owing to his ’20 year rule’ when it comes to depicting recent events, the series will feature a barbed reference to the disgraced Prince’s ex, Koo Stark in which Prince Andrew brags about his relationship with the then 17-year Koo. Whilst Koo has not been cast for series four, it hasn’t been ruled out that she may feature in a future series. Largo AI’s best matches for the colourful role include American actress Emmy Clarke (My House in Umbria, Monk, Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus) with a 93.4%, followed closely by American actress and star of Pacific Rim: Uprising and On the Basis of Sex Cailee Spaeny with a score of 92.8%.



Sami Arpa, Co-founder and CEO, Largo Films, said: “When it comes to casting, The Crown is one of the most controversial and hotly debated productions given the actors are directly compared with their living counterparts. The casting is undoubtedly the biggest factor in keeping and boosting the series’ audience. AI has evolved rapidly in recent years and is now becoming an integral part of successful film and more recently TV production – the technology has been pioneered with great success in the movie industry. Casting is just one small element AI can support and it’s important to understand that the role of AI in TV production is best kept as an assistance tool – helping to quickly provide insights that underpin human instincts rather than replacing them. We’re proud to join the debate and open up the power and possibilities of data-driven storytelling.”


Founded by computer scientist and film director, Sami Arpa is a Lausanne-based venture, which has analysed over 400,000 films/series, 1,800,000 talents and 59,000 scripts to train cutting-edge AI programmes. The game changing technology can optimise all phases of a film’s lifecycle, from script development and casting through to financing, post-production, marketing and distribution. With over 80% predictive accuracy in its financial forecasts. By identifying and keeping up with the spread of the audience, producers can also negotiate more effectively and avoid losing their rights and revenues when dealing with the streamers. These analytics are also helpful in enabling greater access to other investors and diminishing risk at the earliest possible stage by building the right strategy that can be used for future ventures.


Created in collaboration with the prestigious Swiss engineering university, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), offers state-of-the-art, patented technologies developed by leading scientists. The technology enables an understanding of the ingredients of a film and predicts the audience reaction and potential revenue, from script level through to rough and fine cut. Through a cognitive pattern understanding system it creates a ‘recipe of ingredients’ together with actionable insights on how to improve audience appeal, increase ROI and minimise risk. This means that not only are larger elements like editing, action, character suitability, genre and music reviewed, but that a host of smaller details are also taken into account, such as the sequence of small cinematographic and narrative attributes. Country specific insights, where local cultural traits can vary enormously, also enable producers and distributors to better allocate marketing and distribution investments.





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Largo is a Swiss company providing as a data-driven intelligence platform to the audio-visual industry. Largo.AI is able to analyse a film from as early as the script phase and provide insights also at post-production and distribution stages by analysing first video versions of the movie. The company was awarded the best start-up prize at the San Sebastian Film Festival 2019 and was selected as one of Horizon 2020 Top Start-ups in Berlinale. The company was selected by Slush as one of 15 finalist start-ups among 1500 start-ups all around the world. Largo recently raised CHF 750M from private investors and private programs, which brings a total financing of CHF 1.8M since its launch. The company has gained worldwide press coverage in publications such as Variety, Screen International, MSN, Yahoo, Elle, Le Figaro, Indiewire, and 24 Heures.



Notes to editors:








Lesley Harcourt 96.3%
Sophie Kennedy Clark 93.2%
Sophie Skelton 91.5%
Emma Corrin 90.6%
Elizabeth Debicki 88.1%
Freya Mavor 87.0%
Lily James 76.2%
Naomi Watts 75.8%
Caroline Bliss 71.8%
Serena Scott Thomas 70.7%
Meghan Markle 67.1%



Jodhi May 95.6%
Tilda Swinton 93.5%
Emily Watson 92.4%
Shirley Henderson 92.5%
Olivia Coleman 87.4%
Gillian Anderson 76.3%



Janey McTeer 94.1%
Julie Christie 93.7%
Kelly Macdonald 93.4%
Helen Mirren 93.0%
Felicity Jones 92.6%
Jane Asher 92.5%
Emma Thompson 92.3%
Imelda Staunton 91.2%
Kiera Knightley 90.9%
Olivia Coleman 88.6%
Saoirse Ronan 97.6%
Florence Pugh 86.3%
Claire Foy 83.6%



Aidan Turner 96.1%
David Thewllis 96.0%
Eddie Marsan 93.9%
Josh O’Connor 93.0%
Kenneth Brannagh 91.9%
Johnny Flynn 88.9%
Colin Firth 88.5%
Harry Treadway 85.0%
Hugh Grant 78.7%
Ralph Fiennes 75.9%
Dominic West 69.8%



Elizabeth McGovern 94.3%
Harriet Walter 93.9%
Kelly Macdonald 93.8%
Ruth Wilson 93.7%
Holiday Grainger 92.5%
Geraldine James 92.4%
Vanessa Kirby 91.6%
Helen McCroy 91.5%
Lesley Manville 91.1%
Helena Bonham Carter 89.7%
Samantha Norton 87.3%
Andrea Riseborough 87.3%



Matthew Macfayden 97.8%
Daniel Day Lewis 97.0%
Matthew Goode 95.1%
Kenneth Brannagh 95.0%
Michael Gambon 94.3%
Jim Broadbent 93.4%
Michael Sheen 93.4%
Jeremy Irons 92.6%
Hugh Bonneville 87.7%
Jonathan Pryce 86.3%
Ben Kingsley 86.1%
Paul Bettany 81.3%
Tobias Menzies 80.1%
Gary Oldman 75.6%
Matt Smith 70.3%


Harry Eden 95.0%
Jack Reynor 93.0%
Tom Byrne 91.5%
Matthew Beard 87.3%



Emmy Clarke 93.4%
Cailee Spaeny 92.8%
Alexa Yeames 87.4%
Margaret Qualley 86.4%


Our analysis on the cast of the Crown before the release of new season on Netflix got a great interest by public and the press. The Next Web platform wrote about the analysis as the following: