More sexy romps and juicy scandals are in store for Bridgerton season 3 — which began filming this summer. Netflix has renewed the delicious drama for two more seasons, so Lady Whistledown will be back to chronicle all the tittle-tattle of the high-class London ton. And in a twist, the show is diverging from the books to focus season 3 on Colin Bridgerton and Penelope Featherington. The role of Francesca Bridgerton has also been recast.
One of the best Netflix shows, Bridgerton is adapted from Julia Quinn's popular novels and can be described as "Jane Austen meets Gossip Girl." The show, which is executive produced by Shonda Rhimes, follows the eponymous Bridgerton family as they navigate the marriage market. All the sordid secrets of the aristocracy are chronicled with sharp wit by the anonymous columnist Lady Whistledown.
While Bridgerton season 1 focused on the rollercoaster relationship between eldest Bridgerton daughter Daphne and the Duke of Hastings (Regé-Jean Page), the second installment followed the illicit romance between Viscount Anthony Bridgerton and his intended's sister, Kate Sharma.
The third season won't follow the book storylines and spotlight second son and aspiring artist Benedict in the spotlight. Instead, we're skipping right to Colin and Penelope's relationship. Here's everything we know so far about Bridgerton season 3.
Bridgerton season 3 release date speculation
Netflix (which its fair share of entries in our list of the new movies and shows to watch in April) has not set a Bridgerton season 3 release date yet.
In April 2021, Netflix announced its renewal of season 3 and season 4. At the time, Netflix VP of Global TV Bela Bajaria said, “Bridgerton swept us off our feet. The creative team, led by Shonda, knew the material and delivered a beautiful, emotional, romantic drama for our members. They have some exciting plans for the future, and we think audiences will continue to swoon for this show. We’re planning to be in the Bridgerton business for a long time to come."
Season 2 just dropped on March 25, so it'll be awhile until the next batch of episodes arrives. There was a 15-month hiatus between season 1 and 2, and if the show follows a similar schedule for season 3, that would put the release date around June 2023. But it is possible fans will get their fix earlier, since season 2's production was hampered by the pandemic.
Production for Bridgerton season 3 began in July 2022 (announced on July 20, 2022). And since season 2's production and release took around a year to complete (though filming was paused for a month or so after a second positive Covid-19 test happened), our June 2023 estimate still feels accurate.
Bridgerton season 3 cast
Bridgerton's season 3 cast will likely bring back most of the key players from seasons 1 and 2. It's also bringing in three new characters, per Netflix's announcement that production was starting: Daniel Francis, Sam Phillips and James Phoon are the new cast members. Here's what Netflix said about their roles:
Francis plays Marcus Anderson, "A charismatic presence who lights up any room he enters, attracting the notice of certain matriarchs in the ton -- and the ire of others." Phillips plays Lord Debling, "A genial lord with unusual interests. But with wealth and a noble title to back up his eccentricities, he'll have no shortage of interest from young ladies this season." Phoon plays Harry Dankworth, "What Dankworth lacks in wit and intelligence, he more than makes up for with serious good looks."
The focus is shifting to Luke Newton as Colin Bridgerton, the third Bridgerton sibling, and Nicola Coughlan as Penelope Featherington, the youngest Featherington daughter who is secretly Lady Whistledown (voiced by Julie Andrews).
Her identity is revealed to viewers in the season 1 finale. Claudia Jessie is Eloise Bridgerton, the fifth Bridgerton sibling, Penelope's former best friend and one of the few characters who knows the secret.
The series has also recast Hannah Dodd as Francesca Bridgerton, the sixth Bridgerton sibling. She takes over from Ruby Stokes, who has moved on as the lead of Netflix's upcoming series Lockwood and Co.
In the casting announcement, Netflix said, "Francesca Bridgerton is a bit of a mystery within her chatty, extroverted family. Despite her reserved nature, she goes along to get along when it comes to society affairs, fortified with a dry wit and pragmatism that confound the fickle ton yet seem to draw attention when she least desires it."
While the show is diverging from the books, we expect to still see quite a lot of Luke Thompson as Benedict Bridgerton, the second eldest sibling and second son. He's been dabbling in art, but a setback may lead him to put down the paintbrushes for good.
Also likely to return is Jonathan Bailey as Anthony Bridgerton, the Viscount and Benedict's elder brother. He's the head of the family and owns the home where all the unmarried siblings and their mother live. And having just gotten married, he'll have Simone Ashley as Kate Sharma by his side as the new viscountess.
We expect to see the remaining Bridgerton family members: Ruth Gemmell as Violet, the Dowager Viscountess Bridgerton and mother to the siblings; Will Tilston as Gregory Bridgerton, the seventh Bridgerton sibling; and Florence Hunt as Hyacinth Bridgerton, the eighth and youngest Bridgerton sibling.
It's possible that the show will bring back Phoebe Dynevor as Duchess Daphne, in a limited capacity just like the second season.
While Kate is happily wed, her younger sister is not, so the story may continue following the romantic journey of Charithra Chandran as Edwina Sharma, under the guidance of Shelley Conn as mother Mary Sharma.
Bridgerton season 3 will almost certainly feature Penelope's family: Polly Walker as Portia, Baroness Featherington; Bessie Carter as Prudence Featherington, the eldest Featherington daughter; and Harriet Cains as Philippa Featherington, the middle Featherington daughter.
Since the show is about upper class London society, royalty plays a big role in all the goings-on, so fans will likely be happy to welcome back Golda Rosheuvel as Queen Charlotte. And never far from the intrigue is Adjoa Andoh as Lady Danbury.
Other Bridgerton season 2 cast members may include:
- Geraldine Alexander as Mrs. Wilson, the Bridgerton housekeeper
- Lorraine Ashbourne as Mrs. Varley, the Featheringtons' housekeeper
- Kathryn Drysdale as Genevieve Delacroix, a popular modiste
- Martins Imhangbe as Will Mondrich, a boxer turned men's club owner
- Emma Naomi as Alice Mondrich, Will's wife
- Calam Lynch as Theo Sharpe, a printer's assistant
- Joanna Bobin as Lady Cowper, an aristocrat
- Jessica Madsen as Cressida Cowper, a debutante
- Hugh Sachs as Brimsley, the Queen's secretary
- James Fleet as King George III
Bridgerton season 3 spoilers and book story
Spoiler warning: The following contains detailed information about Julia Quinn's novels An Offer From a Gentleman and Romancing Mr. Bridgerton.
While Bridgerton the series hasn't exactly followed Quinn's novels to the letter, seasons 1 and 2 did closely track the plot of her first two Bridgerton books, The Duke and I and The Viscount Who Loved Me. Some storylines were shifted from later books, like the revelation of Lady Whistledown's identity.
However, season 3 will diverge from the books. It will not take story cues from book 3, An Offer From a Gentleman, which has a Cinderella-like romance between Benedict Bridgerton and a new character named Sophie Beckett.
Instead, it will draw from the fourth book, Romancing Mr. Bridgerton, which focuses on Colin Bridgerton and Penelope Featherington. Star Nicola Coughlan revealed the news during a special Netflix event.
"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 said. “I have kept that secret since two weeks into season 2. This is the first time I am saying it here.”
Shondaland confirmed Coughlan's announcement, with a statement reading, "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. With Penelope’s days as a wallflower wearing thin, will she finally take bloom? Time will tell, and as always, so will this author."
In the season 2 finale, Penelope overhears her longtime crush Colin mock the idea of courting her. She rushes to her room in tears, where she proceeds to pick up her pen again as Lady Whistledown. Hell hath no fury like a writer scorned!
But hope may be on the horizon. In Romancing Mr. Bridgerton, Colin begins to see Penelope in a new light. But her big secret threatens to get in the way of their happily ever after.
Other storylines we may see include Eloise pursuing her political interests and the romantic sparks with printer's assistant Theo, Edwina Sharma's continuing search for her match and Lady Featherington's latest schemes to marry off her daughters.