With the big news that Regé-Jean Page won't be returning to season two of Bridgerton is still sinking in (sob), all is not lost - as Netflix has announced four new cast members for season two.
What's more, they've also confirmed series three and four. Hurrah!
Lady Whistledown announced the sad news earlier this month of the Duke of Hastings' departure. While this came as a shock to most, Regé-Jean has admitted he knew from the get-go that it was a one-time thing.
“It’s a one-season arc. It’s going to have a beginning, middle, end – give us a year,” he told Variety. “[I thought] ‘That’s interesting,’ because then it felt like a limited series. I get to come in, I get to contribute my bit and then the Bridgerton family rolls on."
He also reiterated that each book focuses on a different member of the family - so everything is essentially self contained: “One of the things that is different about this [romance] genre is that the audience knows the arc completes.”
He added that because of this, the audience has reassurance that all will end well with ‘marriage and the baby’ so you can “tie people in emotional knots.”
Last month (March) Netflix announced the show's new leading lady, Sex Education's Simone Ashley as Miss Kate Sharma.
Now, her mother and sister have been anounced: Charithra Chandran will play Edwina Sharma, Kate’s younger sister, and Shelley Conn will play Mary Sharma, Kate’s mother.
The other other new cast members are Calam Lynch, who will play Theo Sharpe and Rupert Young, who will play Jack.
Production will begin in spring, with Netflix confirming that the new series will be dedicated to Anthony Bridgerton and his quest to find a wife (as it is in Julia Quinn's second book The Viscount Who Loved Me).
If you want to keep her a surprise till then... stop reading here.
Netflix told Radio Times.com - in the guise of Lady Whistledown: "This author has been reliably informed that Lord Anthony Bridgerton intends to dominate the social season. I will have my pen to report on any and all of his romantic activities."
Simone Ashley, best known for playing Olivia in Netflix's Sex Education, has been cast as Miss Kate Sharma; "Newly arrived in London, Kate is a smart, headstrong young woman who suffers no fools — Anthony Bridgerton very much included."
And author Julia Quinn is thrilled with the casting too, writing: "We have our Kate! Welcome to #Bridgerton, @simoneasshley! I couldn’t dream of a more perfect Kate. I mean, just LOOK at her expression in that first photo!"
Shonda Rhimes' adaptation of Quinn's book series Bridgerton was arguably the biggest show on telly this Christmas... if Netflix technically counts as telly that is.
The quirky costume drama was an instant hit across the board and if you didn't watch all eight episodes in one go, well, then you have more restraint than us.
Set in 1813 Regency England, everything in series one was to die for; the humour, the costumes, the scandals and, of course, the heartthrobs.
But we need more!
When can we expect another season? And what do we know so far? Don't scroll down if you haven't finished season one yet, there are spoilers ahead!
Bridgerton Season 2: Is it happening?
Bridgerton's renewal for season two has now been confirmed by the streaming giant.
Prior to the announcement, Nicola Coughlan (Derry Girls), who plays everyone's favourite, Penelope Featherington, told Variety: "We all really hope [that Bridgerton will be renewed]. It’s a real joy to make and the response has been beyond our wildest dreams. But until the Netflix gods come down and bless us, we don’t know."
There are eight books in the series, with season one of the show mostly drawing from the first book The Duke and I, so there's plenty more of the Bridgerton family story to be told.
Bridgerton Season 2: when will it be released?
With production scheduled to begin this spring, we can expect a second season in early 2022. Though this could potentially be affected by coronavirus restrictions.
All but one scene of season one filming was wrapped by February of 2020, so the show didn't have to tackle those spectacular ball scenes and hundreds of cast and crew under social distancing restrictions. It could disrupt and delay season two.
Netflix shows often come out around the same time each year but as season one was well underway this time last year, a Christmas release is unlikely for season two.
Bridgerton Season 2: What will happen?
There are eight books in Julia Quinn's series, each focusing on one of the alphabetically named Bridgerton siblings: Anthony, Benedict, Colin, Daphne, Eloise, Francesca, Gregory and Hyacinth; though not in that order.
While season one mostly draws from the first book The Duke and I, season two will focus on the second book The Viscount Who Loved Me, which is about eldest brother Anthony [played by Jonathan Bailey], the girl he intends to marry, and her meddling half-sister Kate.
Nicola Coughlan [Penelope] told Variety that's what she hopes to see, saying: "If it goes the way the books go, logically season two would be more about Anthony Bridgerton’s story and I’d love that because it would make the show so fresh and a totally different perspective. Anthony’s such a different character to Daphne."
Bridgerton Season 2: How many series of Bridgerton could there be?
Aside from our leading couple, we've got to know and been invested in Eloise, Anthony, Benedict and Colin Bridgerton in season one, as well as Penelope Featherington aka Lady Whistledown, so it makes sense the show will continue to explore these characters in future series. It's likely we'll also get to see more of the younger Bridgertons now that Francesca is back from a summer playing piano, and Hyacinth and Gregory will start to get older as the series goes on.
Showrunner Chris Van Dusen told The Wrap: "There are eight books, they are about eight siblings. And in success, I would love to be able to explore stories and romances for every Bridgerton sibling. Of course, I would love to be able to do that."
Eight series of Bridgerton? Yes please.
Until then, the show looks set to run well into the mid '20s, with seasons three and four confirmed in April.
Bridgerton season 3 and 4: What will they be about?
What could happen in those series? Book three is titled An Offer From a Gentleman, and follows the story of dazzlingly beautiful maid Sophie Beckett (who we haven't yet met).
Book four, Romancing Mister Bridgerton, focuses on Colin Bridgerton (Luke Newton) and Penelope Featherington (Nicola Coughlan). We can't say what Shonda Rimes has planned for the characters, but we know for sure it'll be eminently watchable.
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