Michael SchneiderWed, 24 March 2021, 8:00 pm
Lifetime is expanding its Harry & Meghan Creative Universe to air a third movie about the embattled royal couple.
In the wake of Oprah Winfrey’s blockbuster interview with the former Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Lifetime has greenlighted “Harry & Meghan: Escaping the Palace,” which promises to “reveal what ultimately lead to the couple’s break from the royal family.”
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The new film is the follow-up to Lifetime’s 2018 entry “Harry & Meghan,” which chronicled the newlyweds’ love story, and 2019’s “Harry & Meghan: Becoming Royal,” which looked at their experiences inside the Royal Family during their first year of marriage.
Lifetime is now billing the three movies as their “Harry & Meghan” movie franchise trilogy. Casting is currently underway for the “Escaping the Palace,” and production will begin this spring, with an airdate eyed for fall.
Menhaj Huda, who directed the first two films, is back to helm this one, while Scarlett Lacey (who co-wrote the 2018 film and wrote the 2019 follow-up) is back to write “Escaping the Palace.” Merideth Finn and Michele Weiss are the executive producers of “Harry & Meghan: Escaping The Palace.”
The first two films featured different actors playing the lead roles, however. The 2018 featured Parisa Fitz-Henley as Meghan, Murray Fraser as Harry and Steve Coulter as Prince Charles; the 2019 version had Tiffany Smith as Meghan, Charlie Field as Harry and Charles Shaughnessy as Prince Charles.
Here’s the logline: “‘Harry & Meghan: Escaping the Palace’ reveals what really happened inside the palace that drove Harry and Meghan to leave everything behind in order to make a future for themselves and their son Archie. The movie will detail Meghan’s growing isolation and sadness, their disappointment that ‘The Firm’ was not defending them against the press’s attacks and Harry’s fear that history would repeat itself and he would not be able to protect his wife and son from the same forces that caused his mother’s untimely death. ‘Harry & Meghan: Escaping the Palace’ will also reveal the private family feuds between Will and Harry, Kate and Meghan, and Harry with Will and Charles, that lead to the ultimate break from the royal ties.”
No word on whether there’s a role for someone to play Oprah Winfrey. Worldwide distribution of the three-film franchise is handled by Lifetime parent A+E Networks. Lifetime’s true life films include the top two original movies on cable in 2021, year to date among adults 18-49 and 25-54: “Wendy Williams: The Movie” and “Salt-N-Pepa.”