Here’s everything we know so far about the next season of Netflix’s record-breaking Regency romance.
In a nutshell:
The Shonda Rhimes hit will return in all its candy-colored, feather-strewn glory, with the focus this time on Colin Bridgerton and Penelope Featherington’s love story.
Is Bridgerton Season 3 based on a book?
Yes. The Netflix sensation’s first season, which centered on Daphne and Simon’s romance, was based on the first novel in Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton series, The Duke and I, while Season 2, which followed Anthony and Kate, took its plot from the second book, The Viscount Who Loved Me. As a result, fans had assumed that Season 3 would track Benedict’s path to wedded bliss as laid out in the third book, An Offer From a Gentleman, but on May 15, Variety reported that this would not be the case. Instead, the show would be skipping ahead to explore Colin and Penelope’s relationship further, as Quinn does in the fourth book, Romancing Mister Bridgerton. Nicola Coughlan herself confirmed the news during a Netflix panel discussion in Hollywood, adding, “I have kept that secret since two weeks into Season 2.”
More details were revealed by Coughlan and her co-star Luke Newton, who plays Colin, via Netflix shortly after the event, including the reason for the change in the running order. “I feel like if you see Penelope fawning over this boy for another season, you’ll be like, ‘Get it together! Come on, move on and get over it,’” said Coughlan. Of what she knows of their story so far, she said, “I think people are going to be really obsessed. I think book fans are going to be happy.”
Meanwhile, Newton acknowledged that many viewers were, of course, unhappy with Colin after the Season 2 finale, in which Penelope overheard him telling a group of friends that he would “never dream of courting” her. He believes this was just a “throwaway comment” from Colin, but says that what really matters is “how important it is to the audience and how important it is to Penelope.” The press release then adds that, “It’s possible Colin’s willful obliviousness is the biggest obstacle to romance heading into Season 3. After all, Colin isn’t currently pursuing anyone at all.”
In Romancing Mister Bridgerton, Colin returns from his travels and begins to see Penelope in a whole new light, but the pair are prevented from getting together by the momentous secrets they’re hiding from each other. While it’s almost certain that Season 3 will feature Colin discovering that Penelope is Lady Whistledown, as Eloise already has, it’s also likely that other aspects of the plot will deviate from the source material. After all, in the show, Colin comes back to the Ton in the second episode of Season 2 and Lady Whistledown’s identity is revealed at the end of Season 1, unlike in Quinn’s novels, where readers are kept in the dark until the fourth book.
Will the cast of Bridgerton Season 2 return for Season 3?
Alongside Coughlan and Newton, most of Bridgerton’s Season 2 cast should also be back for Season 3, including Anthony (Jonathan Bailey), Lady Violet Bridgerton (Ruth Gemmell), Lady Portia Featherington (Polly Walker), Lady Danbury (Adjoa Andoh), Queen Charlotte (Golda Rosheuvel), and the rest of the Bridgerton clan—Daphne (Phoebe Dynevor), Benedict (Luke Thompson), Eloise (Claudia Jessie), Hyacinth (Florence Hunt), and Gregory (Will Tilston) among them.
More good news? Unlike Regé-Jean Page’s dashing Duke of Hastings, who did not reappear in Season 2 despite becoming a fan favorite after the show’s debut, Simone Ashley—who dazzled as Kate in Bridgerton’s latest installment—has confirmed that she will be returning. “Kate and Anthony are just getting started,” she told Deadline in March. “In season two, there was a lot of push and pull between [them]. There were complications with the family, and then they find each other towards the end. [Now] I’d like to see Kate just let go a bit more and play more in season three and kind of swim in that circle of love together. I think they both deserve it.” And as for Kate’s impressionable younger sister Edwina (Charithra Chandran)? There’s been no confirmation yet, but here’s hoping the young debutante finds happiness this time around, preferably with the Queen’s nephew, Prince Friedrich, who was mentioned in passing in Season 2.
Who will be joining the cast for Bridgerton Season 3?
According to Deadline, casting is currently underway for the new season, meaning it’s worth keeping your eyes peeled for updates in the coming months. One piece of casting news that has already been revealed, however, is that Hannah Dodd will succeed Ruby Stokes in the role of Francesca Bridgerton (Stokes is leaving the show to star in Netflix’s Lockwood & Co). Dodd will be familiar to those who recently binge-watched Anatomy of a Scandal*—*she played the younger version of Sienna Miller’s character as she navigated Oxford University in the ’90s.
Who will be behind the camera for Bridgerton Season 3?
There will be changes behind the scenes, too. For Season 3, Jess Brownell, who has previously penned episodes of Scandal and Inventing Anna as well as earlier seasons of Bridgerton, will be taking over the position of showrunner from Chris Van Dusen. “Bridgerton will always have a special place in my heart and I think I did what I set out to do,” the latter told the Radio Times in an interview in March. “The fact that this show has become Netflix’s biggest English-language series ever is something I’m incredibly proud of. But, at the end of the day, it was time for me to move on.” The Bridgerton veteran will, however, remain on board as an executive producer alongside Shonda Rhimes, Betsy Beers, and Tom Verica, meaning it’s unlikely that the tone or visual style of the show will change significantly in Season 3.
Is there a release date for Bridgerton Season 3?
It may be a while yet before the next season of Bridgerton lands on our screens, though per Deadline, the show is due to return to production this summer, making an early 2023 release date possible.
What do we know so far about Bridgerton Season 4?
Netflix has, of course, already renewed Bridgerton for a fourth season, though its focus is not yet known. If it does take the third novel, An Offer from a Gentleman, as its source, then the spotlight will be on the artistic Benedict, who falls for Sophie Beckett, the daughter of an earl who’s been hidden away from the Ton and forced to work as a housemaid by her vicious stepmother. After Sophie sneaks into Lady Bridgerton’s annual masquerade ball, she and Benedict have a Cinderella-meets-Romeo-&-Juliet moment, with Benedict enchanted by the masked beauty. When she later flees, he vows to track her down by any means possible.
How many seasons of Bridgerton will there be in total?
Bridgerton is expected to run for eight seasons, with each installment focusing on a different sibling. Following Daphne, Anthony, Colin, and Benedict, the show should theoretically move on to Eloise, Francesca, Hyacinth, and Gregory, giving each of them their own happy endings.
Is a Bridgerton spin-off in the works?
Yes, and it will center on a young Queen Charlotte, as embodied by newcomer India Amarteifio, as she arrives in London at the age of 17 to marry King George (Corey Mylchreest). The eight-part prequel penned by Rhimes herself will track the pair as they fall madly in love and transform the country for the better.
From Vogue US