Former "Outlander" actor Tobias Menzies has signed on to play Prince Philip for the third season of "The Crown." His casting comes as a surprise since it seemed that Paul Bettany was the favorite to play the Duke of Edinburgh. While the showrunners were in talks to bring Bettany on, the actor eventually declined the role, although Bettany didn't give specific reasons on why he turned it down. Instead, Netflix made an announcement on March 28 that Menzies has been cast in the award-winning drama.

Tobias Menzies goes from 'King Lear' to 'The Crown'

The English actor recently finished playing another duke in a future BBC TV production of "King Lear," playing the Duke of Cornwall. Menzies also appeared in popular series like "Rome" as Brutus and "Game of Thrones" as Edmure Tully. His most current TV role is James Fitzjames in AMC's miniseries, "The Terror."

Tobias Menzies' biggest series to date was Starz's "Outlander," where he had dual roles as the antagonist Black Jack Randall and Frank Randall, Clare's husband post-World War II.

His time on the series ended during the third season last year. Menzies will take over the Prince Philip role from Matt Smith, who starred in the first two seasons of "The Crown." Olivia Coleman will play the new Queen Elizabeth in the upcoming season, replacing Golden Globe winner Claire Foy. Helena Bonham Carter also signed on to play Princess Margaret, a role originated by Vanessa Kirby.

These casting changes were always part of show creator Peter Morgan's plan, as he wanted new actors every two seasons as the characters aged over the series run.

Will there be equal pay for the new cast?

"The Crown" producers recently made headlines when they mentioned in a conference that Matt Smith received a better salary than Claire Foy during the first two seasons of the historical drama.

While Smith was the bigger name due to his starring role in "Doctor Who," Foy played the main character and won awards, which should have garnered her a bigger paycheck in the second season.

One of the producers, Suzanne Mackie, admitted that while Smith received more pay than Foy's $40,000 per episode, they will amend that error in future seasons. "Going forward, no one gets paid more than the Queen," Mackie announced at the Jerusalem INTV conference earlier this month. Actors' salary amounts are rarely put out in public, but hopefully, "The Crown's" producers will stay true to their word and give equal pay to the new main cast. Olivia Coleman and Tobias Menzies both have quite a resume in TV and film work, but Helena Bonham Carter has the most fame.

Season 3 of "The Crown" will debut on Netflix in 2019.