Bridgerton will not be following the blueprint of the books when season 3 (and 4) rolls around.
Season 1 of Netflix’s popular Regency drama — like Julia Quinn’s first novel, The Duke and I — covered the romance between Daphne and Simon, and season 2 puts the focus on Anthony and Kate, much like the sequel, The Viscount Who Loved Me. But, as executive producers Shonda Rhimes and Chris Van Dusen revealed, the next season of Bridgerton – Season 3 – could very well follow its own path – and in fact, they will.
“I really feel like it’s Colin and Penelope’s time. Because we’ve been watching both of these actors on our screens since Season 1, we’ve already invested in them a little bit. We know who they are as people,” Jess Brownell, who stepped in as the new showrunner as Chris Van Dusen exited, says. “I feel like, especially in the last season, there are these moments of tension between them where it’s like, Colin walks up to the line of almost realizing that Penelope has feelings for him but doesn’t quite get there. Instead of treading water on that dynamic, we wanted to push it into their season. It really felt like the perfect moment to tee it up.”
Nicola Coughlan says she knows what to expect from season 3 when it comes to sex scenes
“Penelope I think has a little more time to wait before she gets into that,” Coughlan said. “I can safely say that she’s still very much the wallflower. She is in business lady mode.”
Coughlan added on Monday that it’s “terrifying” taking the lead in the upcoming season, but she’s “known for a really long time.”
“I’ve known for, like, two weeks into filming season two, so I had a lot of time to adjust to it,” Coughlan said. “But then, last night when they were like, ‘The news is coming out. You can talk about it,’ I was like, ‘I don’t want to. I’m too scared.’ When I say it out [loud], it makes it real.”
The actress also said Penelope will grow a lot in the third season and even though she haven’t read a script yet, she knows “a lot about what will happen”.
Shonda Rhimes teases Colin-Penelope romance in Inside Bridgerton behind-the-scenes book
In discussing Colin and Luke Newton’s casting, Betsy Beers and Shonda Rhimes talk about Colin’s savior complex and his relationship with the Featherington family, particularly after coming to their rescue in season 2. “He really is in love with the idea of doing the right thing more than the thing itself,” Rhimes says. “But I do love him for it, this fixation on honor. I think it’s very interesting.”
Just how that fixation on honor will play out in season 3 and his romance with Penelope (Nicola Coughlan) remains to be seen, but see if you can spy any hints in the exclusive excerpt below.
“Our relationship has taken shape so naturally over the years, one could take it for granted. You have always been so constant and loyal, Pen.”
BETSY: It is no coincidence that both Simon and Colin are travelers—they are literally and figuratively looking for their place in the world. Colin is a curious person, and I think he feels that his answers are out there somewhere, which is why you sense this pushing and pulling and, ultimately, confusion. He’s in a tough spot, being the third son. In a world where you only need an heir and a spare, Colin doesn’t know where he fits—and he’s constantly looking to transform himself.
SHONDA: And he hopes that the world will inform him of how to do this, or at least show him the way. Instead, he keeps finding himself trying to save women—that’s his instinct, he thinks that’s what will deliver his purpose.
BETSY: Yes, he wants to be a savior, to be gallant. I don’t know if that’s a reverberation from being too young to do anything to help his dad or his mom, but he has a strong instinct to rescue the damsel in distress. You can really see his chest swell when he rescues the Featheringtons. What do you think that’s about?
SHONDA: He really is in love with the idea of doing the right thing more than the thing itself. But I do love him for it, this fixation on honor. I think it’s very interesting.
BETSY: Yep. There’s also something really poetic about the fact that his heroics are always in secret—he is saving the Featheringtons, but that feat depends on nobody ever finding out about it.
SHONDA: Yet that’s a central theme of Bridgerton: There are no secrets in the ton.
LUKE NEWTON: I think we all auditioned for the duke—the scene where the duke is promenading with Daphne. Then I auditioned for Colin. That’s when I really started to fall in love with the project. I came in for a final interview with Chris Van Dusen, Julie Anne Robinson, and Betsy Beers—I really tried to not let that affect me, because it was so intimidating. I did the same scene five or six different ways. Julie Anne said, “We won’t do this on set, but let’s just try it five different ways with five different intentions behind it.” It was the scene with Colin and Penelope at the Rutledge ball, where they’re gossiping, and he says to her, “Oh, Penelope, what a barb!” When it was time to do that scene for the real thing, it was a surreal moment.
LUKE NEWTON ON COLIN BRIDGERTON: Colin is really stuck in the middle. As much as he feels close to Anthony and Benedict, he’s always felt he’s treated like a kid. He doesn’t really like that and doesn’t feel like he should be. In Season 1, we see Daphne really blossom into a strong, independent woman, and she’s treated with more respect by the family than Colin. I think he’s drawn to the idea of not being like every other Bridgerton, of distinguishing himself and not doing exactly what’s expected of him. I think that’s one of the appeals of Marina, the naughtiness of the affair and his desire to be a man.
This weighs on him: He wants to have a purpose and feel like he can make decisions, like telling Marina that they’ll run away to Gretna Green and get married. I think the idea of that was a lot more romantic and attractive to him than how he actually felt. In Season 2, you see him struggling with unsettled guilt, which seems to have stolen the enjoyment of his travels and adventures. He may like gossiping in the corner with Penelope, but he didn’t want to hurt or negatively affect someone’s life. He’s probably taking too much responsibility, though, simply because he wants to be a man.
Colin’s traveling is the theme of two seasons—it’s this constant prompt to suggest he’s going to have some excitement in life, something that will make him seem interesting. But I think once he checks it off his list, he feels his lack of purpose and drive even more acutely. It’s this “What’s next? What do I do next?” feeling, which makes him talk about his travels to anyone who will listen. Particularly Eloise, because she hasn’t experienced anything like it, so he can say what he wants and fabricate his journeys and adventures. When you see him with Sir Phillip, and he gets into plants and all these boring specifics, I don’t think he is bragging, I think he just finally feels validated. They really have an intimate moment geeking out together.
Hannah Dodd is the new Francesca
Hannah Dodd, who can be seen in Netflix’s Anatomy of a Scandal, has been tapped to take over as Lady Violet’s sixth-oldest child, Francesca, in Bridgerton Season 3 in the wake of Ruby Stokes leaving to star in Netflix’s Lockwood & Co.
“I’m so excited,” Dodd tells TVLine. “Everybody’s been so lovely. I just want to do a good job.”
Having read six of Julia Quinn’s eight-book series, Dodd began with Francesca’s story “because I didn’t know what I’d got myself in for, but I needed to read that as soon as possible. It’s such a beautiful book and she’s such a beautiful character. I can’t really believe that I get to play her. I know how people feel about her as well, so I’m going to do my best.“
Lady Violet’s sixth oldest child, Francesca — who remained off screen in Season 1 until the final episode — was intended to have a larger role in Season 2 of the Netflix smash, which drops next Friday.
However, as EP and showrunner Chris Van Dusen explains, Ruby Stokes, the actress who plays Francesca, had to leave after shooting just three episodes due to a prior commitment to another Netflix series, the upcoming detective thriller Lockwood & Co.
Hannah New Joins Cast As Lady Tilley Arnold!
The cast is continuing to expand for Bridgerton ‘s upcoming season 3 with the addition of Black Sails star Hannah New as a firebrand widow.
According to Deadline, New will play Lady Tilley Arnold, who was widowed at an early age. She basks in the privileges and power that come with being at the helm of her former husband’s estate and lives her life on her own terms with financial independence and sexual freedom. Details on her story and relation to the other characters have not yet been revealed.
Season 3 Will Not Focus on Benedict Love Story
Lady Whistledown broke some news of her own on Sunday, as Bridgerton actress Nicola Coughlan revealed that Penelope Featherington and Colin Bridgerton will be the focus of Bridgerton season 3.
“Like Lady Whistledown, I have been keeping a secret for quite some time, and I can confirm to you all that Season 3 is Colin and Penelope’s love story,” Coughlan revealed at the show’s FYSEE panel. “I have kept that secret since two weeks into Season 2. This is the first time I am saying it here.”
Shondaland confirmed the news on Monday with some official correspondence from Lady Whistledown: “It is only fair that in this author’s third year chronicling the marriage mart, Mayfair’s social season should find its focus on a third son… as well as a third daughter,” it reads. “With Penelope’s days as a wallflower wearing thin, will she finally take bloom? Time will tell, and as always, so will this author.”
Do you think that changing the order is going to change bigger picture elements and drift a bit further away from the books?
Jess Brownell: Well, we already differ from the books a little bit because we’re an ensemble show. The books really focus on one on one romantic pair at a time and maybe the siblings have a little cameo here and there but they don’t have full stories. In that way, even though we’re reversing the order of the books, I think all the people you would expect to see — Benedict, who is book three, he will be a vital part of Season 3.
We know Anthony and Kate are going to be be back. Are they going to be a big part of next season? What about Daphne?
We want to keep seeing all of our Bridgerton siblings. We feel like those moments when the whole family is together is what really makes the show and makes all of us, I think, want to be a Bridgerton. So yes, you will definitely be seeing Daphne, Anthony and Kate — how much, I don’t want to say quite yet, but you have to tune in.
Have you guys discussed if you’ll go back to Benedict or if next season would go right into Eloise?
So, you know, I think Shonda Rhimes has said publicly before that she wants to have eight seasons. We hope to get to tell every sibling’s love story and they will always be in each season.
The romances — and sex — in Season 1 and 2 were very different. As the relationship was very intense in Season 1, Season 2 was more of a slow burn. What can you say about how Season 3 will compare?
I feel like Seasons 1 and 2, our male leads had a lot of darkness in their pasts — Simon and his father and Anthony losing his father. Obviously, Colin lost the same father, but I think of Colin and Pen as being characters who bring a lot of comedy to the show. So I think we’re gonna get to play a lot of that this season. But I want to balance that out with quite a bit of sexiness and romance. I think that’s so important to the show. We’ll get the chance to go deeper with them and push them to more serious sides and see what that looks like, so you’ll be seeing new new levels.
“There’s eight Bridgerton siblings, so we’re planning on following each one of the siblings’ romantic stories,” Rhimes confirmed to ET in the previous months. But alluded to the possibility that they could be switching up the order. “We’re not necessarily going in order but we are going to be seeing each of the siblings and their stories.”
“I can’t mention or talk about anything after this season, [but] it was always my goal to focus on a different Bridgerton sibling every season and it’s no secret there are eight Bridgerton siblings. In success we will be on as long as Netflix will have us. I would love to focus on every single one of those eight Bridgerton siblings and tell romance stories for all of them.”Chris Van Dusen
Asked why the writers may be shaking things up in the Bridgerton universe, Rhimes said they “got a little bit creative so we’re already hard at work writing season 3. … That is already in progress and you’ll see. Give it time.” But Rhimes skirted the question when asked to share which Bridgerton sibling will get the spotlight: “I can’t tell you! That is a spoiler, I can’t.”
Van Dusen, for his part, seemed open to exploring Benedict’s love story in season 3.
“I love Benedict’s story. I love his story and all these siblings, all these characters for different reasons. They all offer something new. I think it was really the appeal to me in a project like this, the fact that we could tell these close-ended love stories and shift focus season after season. This season, obviously we are with Anthony Bridgerton. It will go on and on and be equally as pleasurable as the one before.”Chris Van Dusen
But Van Dusen revealed the reasoning behind why the writers would opt not to go in birth order like the books do past the first novel.
“I think it depends on story and it always comes down to character for me. I think we do a lot of work in these first two seasons to set up characters in these future seasons and every one of these siblings is going to eventually carry their own season so it’s important to flesh out these characters and set them up for success.”Chris Van Dusen
The sophomore installment is already a slight departure from the sequel, with some of the focus given to Eloise’s romance with the print shop assistant, Theo, and the search to unmask Lady Whistledown once and for all.
So, could Bridgerton Season 3 skip to Penelope and Colin’s sweet romance, a focus of the fourth book?
Nicola Coughlan would be up for it, letting out a nervous laugh when asked if Colin is the Bridgerton getting the spotlight in the next season.
“For season 3, I genuinely haven’t asked very much because it’s when the seasons are happening, it’s so all-encompassing. It takes over your world that I really wanted to get season 2 out there and celebrate it and let it have its moment before I start [thinking about season 3] ’cause it just takes over your life. So I’m waiting!”
Colin and Penelope will be together. It’s just going to take longer than expected
“Colin doesn’t see what is right in front of his eyes,” Newton tells with a sigh. “He’s got this amazing connection with this young woman, but his judgment is so clouded about feeling like he has to be a man and find his purpose, that he’s put her in the friend zone. He’s ticked off his ambition, which was traveling, and now he’s trying to figure out what’s next. Everyone else has things going on, and he’s distracted by ambition. It’s really hard to defend Colin because there are moments where even I’m like ‘Bro, you’re just being a d–k right now.’”
“Colin was high on life as the conquering hero, in his mind, because he thinks he saved the Featheringtons,” Coughlan explains. “He genuinely hasn’t thought about Pen in that way, and maybe now she will no longer treat him like he’s a god. She’s his little sister’s best friend. In the books, they don’t get together for another 10 years.”
Executive producer Shonda Rhimes confirmed that Season 3 won’t follow Book 3, An Offer From a Gentleman, to the letter and will likely involve multiple Bridgerton love stories instead of Benedict’s alone, as Julia Quinn’s novel did. This could mean that “Polin” will be one of those romances in addition to the still-burgeoning love affair between Kate and Anthony.
Luke Thompson on Benedict’s artistic disappointment, his hopes for season 3
If the Netflix series continues to follow the arc of Julia Quinn’s novels, it will be Benedict who takes center stage in season 3, using An Offer From a Gentleman as potential source material.
The thing is the books are the books, and the show is completely rooted in the books, but it’s not tied to the books. That’s partly the pleasure of watching the show.
We’ve stepped into these characters that already have a fan base. So we’re being welcomed in on some level to their world and their expectations and their love for these characters, but then also because we inhabit the show and the show is different. It’s an opportunity for us to stretch their conception of these characters and stretch their conception of those stories. So, I don’t know. The books would indicate that the next one up is Benedict. But we don’t know that for sure because the show is the show, and the show has license to do all sorts of things.
The show is such an ensemble effort anyway, and it does feel like there’s so much to get our teeth into even when you’re not in the driver’s seat. It’s not like I’m sitting around waiting for my “big moment” because it’s such a huge group effort, and that’s what makes it satisfying to do. As long as Benedict keeps being explored, I’m happy.Luke Thompson
“I’ve heard there’s a new man entering into the Ton, as we call it,” Nicola Coughlan said “Into London society.”
“We’ve already started because it takes such a long time. They make every single costume from scratch, including for all the supporting artists,” she explained. “I saw a picture of [Newton] from a fitting today and they’ve taken him from boyband to leading man in a major way.”
That’s not the only change to expect, as Coughlan let it slip that season three is “gonna be a lot different.” Specifically, Coughlan, who said she received an “overview” of the plot, promised that her character “finally becomes a woman in season three and comes into herself.”
When does Bridgerton season 3 start filming?
“Filming for season 3 is expected to start this summer”, star Nicola Coughlan announced. Rhimes confirmed, “We’re already hard at work writing season 3. That is already in progress and you’ll see. Give it time.”
UPDATE, JULY 16: Filming for season 3 officially began! The cast took to the streets of West London to film scenes for season 3. First-look photos showed carriages parked in front of a building seemingly decorated for one of the show’s trademark balls.
When will Bridgerton season 3 be on Netflix?
Fans of the series will probably have to wait till early 2023 for season 3!
Bridgerton season 2 in now streaming on Netflix..
Source: EW / TV Line