I Burn For This
'Bridgerton's ensemble cast

Bridgerton Recast Francesca For Season 3

At least this means she'll likely be more present this season.

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Netflix’s romantic period drama Bridgerton became a global phenomenon when Season 1 arrived on Christmas Day in 2020. With that level of success, it’s no surprise the show has already been renewed for three more seasons. Season 1 covered The Duke And I; Season 2 covered book two, The Viscount Who Loved Me. It stands to reason that book three, An Offer From A Gentleman, is up next for Bridgerton Season 3, although some fans think production might switch things up.

Warning: Spoilers for Bridgerton Season 2 follow. Bridgerton is based on author Julia Quinn’s romance series of the same name, and each season of the show is expected to adapt one of her novels, which tells each Bridgerton sibling’s love story. Season 1 followed eldest Bridgerton daughter Daphne (Phoebe Dynevor) as she began a romance with the dashing Duke of Hastings (Regé-Jean Page). Likewise, Season 2 is centered on the eldest Bridgerton brother Anthony (Jonathan Bailey), when his plans to marry eligible Diamond of the First Water, Edwina Sharma, are upended as he falls for Edwina’s older sister, Kate (Simone Ashley), instead.

Most fans assume Season 3 will adapt the third Bridgerton novel, An Offer From A Gentleman, which follows Benedict Bridgerton (Luke Thompson) as he finds Cinderella-esque romance with a servant named Sophie Beckett. However, Netflix has not yet confirmed this, so there could be some changes in store.

Here’s what *is* known about Bridgerton Season 3 so far.

Bridgerton Season 3 Cast

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For Season 3, fans can expect the Bridgerton family ensemble will return. That includes Luke Thompson (Benedict), who is expected to become the series’ next lead. Almost all the rest of the family will be back as well, including Jonathan Bailey (Anthony), Luke Newton (Colin), Phoebe Dynevor (Daphne), Claudia Jessie (Eloise), Will Tilston (Gregory), Florence Hunt (Hyacinth), and Ruth Gemmell (Lady Violet). Julie Andrews will continue as the voice of Lady Whistledown, and both Adjoa Andoh and Golda Rosheuvel will be back as Lady Danbury and Queen Charlotte, respectively. Gemmell, Ahdoh, and Rosheuvel will also be crossing over to the Queen Charlotte-focused spinoff.

The big change will be Ruby Stokes, who has been mostly absent as Francesca, the third Bridgerton daughter and sixth sibling. Stokes was initially cast in Season 1 as a recurring character, since Francesca is still away at school during Daphne’s debut year. But in Season 2, fans noticed the character disappeared rather suddenly after the first two episodes; this is because Stokes was cast in a competing Netflix series and scheduling conflicts kept her away.

Netflix

Despite the EP’s hopes something could be worked out for Stokes to do both projects, it seems that’s not to be. On May 12, 2022, Deadline announced the show was recasting the part. Anatomy of a Scandal’s Hannah Dodd (who played Young Sophie) will take over the role of Francesca going forward, a relief to fans who had started to worry Francesca’s romance (Bridgerton Book 6, When He Was Wicked) would not make it to the screen due to Stokes’ tight schedule.

A more exciting announcement: Simone Ashley (Kate) confirmed she will not go the way of Regé-Jean Page, who exited the series after his romance with Daphne concluded; Ashley will return alongside Bailey. It’s also possible the overwhelmingly negative response to Simon’s exit could inspire production to keep Charithra Chandran (Edwina) and Shelley Conn (Lady Mary) around in some capacity as well. After all, Queen Charlotte did promise to introduce Edwina to Prince Frederick at the end of Season 2, so maybe Freddie Stroma will have a return engagement too.

The Featheringtons should also be back, including Polly Walker (Lady Portia), Bessie Carter (Prudence), Harriet Cains (Phillipa), and Nicola Coughlan (Penelope). Let us hope Rupert Young (Jack) is not, no offense to the actor.

The big question for Season 3 (like it was for Season 2) will be the new heroine. Sophie, an Earl’s daughter reduced to servitude with whome Benedict falls in love, should be an interesting character for the series to adapt, and fans will have to see how casting for the role goes.

Bridgerton Season 3 Filming Updates

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After two years under the guidance of Shondaland veteran Chris Van Dusen as showrunner, Bridgerton is passing hands. The new showrunner for the next two seasons will be Jess Brownell. Brownell has worked extensively on Shondaland series, including Bridgerton Seasons 1 and 2, Inventing Anna, and Rhimes’ ABC series, Scandal.

It’s believed part of the reason for the new showrunner move was so production could get started on new seasons while Season 2 was still in post-production. Considering how long Season 2 took to film (a task made more difficult by the Hollywood shutdowns and U.K. lockdowns of 2020 and 2021), the plan is for Season 3 to start filming in the summer of 2022 for a 2023 release.

Bridgerton Season 3 Plot, Based On Bridgerton Book 3

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An Offer from a Gentleman retells the fairytale of Cinderella, as Benedict falls for an enchanting young woman at his family’s masquerade ball. Unbeknownst to him, she’s an earl’s daughter named Sophie, who is forced to work as a servant. Having failed at an artistic career and with little self-esteem, Benedict spends his nights dreaming of the mystery girl, unknowingly lusting after this servant he sees daily. The title, “An Offer From A Gentleman,” should be a clue about how he thinks he can have his cake and eat it too.

But whether the show follows this story remains to be seen. Bridgerton Season 1 changed the overall series without messing with Daphne’s romance, even keeping the structure typical of the Regency romance genre, with the marriage coming halfway through the book. Season 2, on the other hand, went more mainstream and made drastic changes to the novel, altering everything from the backstories of the main characters to the pacing of the primary relationship.

Season 3 may do the same for Benedict, as the book has somewhat problematic tropes stemming from the inequality of the servant-master relationship. But it’s also possible the series will make his story less central, and focus on multiple love stories across the ensemble, with Colin and Penelope’s story rumored to be part of the next season as well.

Bridgerton Season 3 Release Date & Trailer Predictions

Netflix

With Bridgerton Season 2 now out, all eyes turn to Season 3. Filming has been confirmed to start in the summer of 2022, directly following filming on the Young Queen Charlotte series, which is in production now, so there’s no trailer yet.

As for a release date, with Season 1 coming at Christmas 2020 and Season 2 out in March 2022, fans should expect Season 3 to arrive sometime in the second half of 2023.

Bridgerton Seasons 1 and 2 are streaming on Netflix.

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