Why Isn't Benedict the Lead of 'Bridgerton' Season 3?

bridgerton season 2
Why Isn't Benedict the Lead of Bridgerton S3?LIAM DANIEL/NETFLIX
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In May 2022, Netflix confirmed that Bridgerton season three will not be taking its story from the third book of Julia Quinn's Bridgerton series, An Offer From a Gentleman. Instead, the hit Regency romance will skip to the fourth book, Romancing Mister Bridgerton, which focuses in on Colin and Penelope's love story, in its third season (the first part is now streaming).

In An Offer From a Gentleman, Benedict falls for Sophie Beckett, a woman he meets at a masked ball. Sophie, the illegitimate daughter of an Earl, becomes a servant for her stepmother and stepsisters after he dies. (Think Cinderella.) Two years after the masked ball (spoilers!), Benedict and Sophie reconnect and marry. Yet, viewers won't see this plot until at least season four.

"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," Bridgerton showrunner Jess Brownell told Variety."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."

But, Brownell emphasized that Benedict will still have a major part in season three. She explained, "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."

The stars of season two, Anthony (Jonathan Bailey) and Kate (Simone Ashley) will return for season three, but season one leads Daphne (Phoebe Dynevor) and Simon (Regé-Jean Page) won't be back. In addition, the show will see its first major casting change with the role of Francesca Bridgerton: actress Hannah Dodd will be taking over the role from Ruby Stokes. Executive producer Shonda Rhimes has said she hopes to make eight seasons of Bridgerton, one for each of the eight siblings.

Brownell was also vague on whether or not there would be a queer storyline in the future of Bridgerton, something fans have been clamoring for with Benedict. "Right now, I really am so focused on Pen and Colin and how we’re rolling them out that my head’s really in that in the day to day, but maybe at a later date that’s something we can talk about," she said. The previous Bridgerton showrunner, Chris Van Dusen, previously said the flirtation between Benedict and Sir Henry Granville in season one was not meant to imply Benedict was gay, or bisexual.

Bridgerton season three premiered on May 16 with four episodes, and four more will drop on June 13. While we wait for part two, catch up on Quinn's Bridgerton novels:

The Duke and I

<p><a href="https://www.amazon.com/dp/0062911414?tag=syn-yahoo-20&ascsubtag=%5Bartid%7C10067.a.40021832%5Bsrc%7Cyahoo-us" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>The Duke and I</p><p>amazon.com</p><span class="copyright">Courtesy Amazon</span>

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The Duke and I

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The Viscount Who Loved Me

<p><a href="https://www.amazon.com/dp/0062353640?tag=syn-yahoo-20&ascsubtag=%5Bartid%7C10067.a.40021832%5Bsrc%7Cyahoo-us" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>The Viscount Who Loved Me</p><p>amazon.com</p><span class="copyright">Courtesy Amazon</span>

Romancing Mister Bridgerton

<p><a href="https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00U6SFUVA?tag=syn-yahoo-20&ascsubtag=%5Bartid%7C10067.a.40021832%5Bsrc%7Cyahoo-us" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Romancing Mister Bridgerton</p><p>amazon.com</p><span class="copyright">Courtesy Amazon</span>

An Offer From a Gentleman

<p><a href="https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00UG8RP2W?tag=syn-yahoo-20&ascsubtag=%5Bartid%7C10067.a.40021832%5Bsrc%7Cyahoo-us" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>An Offer From a Gentleman</p><p>amazon.com</p><span class="copyright">Courtesy Amazon</span>

To Sir Phillip, With Love

<p><a href="https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00U6SFUVK?tag=syn-yahoo-20&ascsubtag=%5Bartid%7C10067.a.40021832%5Bsrc%7Cyahoo-us" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>To Sir Phillip, With Love</p><p>amazon.com</p><span class="copyright">Courtesy Amazon</span>

When He Was Wicked

<p><a href="https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00UG8RP9U?tag=syn-yahoo-20&ascsubtag=%5Bartid%7C10067.a.40021832%5Bsrc%7Cyahoo-us" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>When He Was Wicked</p><p>amazon.com</p><span class="copyright">Courtesy Amazon</span>

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When He Was Wicked

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It's In His Kiss

<p><a href="https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00UG8RP6S?tag=syn-yahoo-20&ascsubtag=%5Bartid%7C10067.a.40021832%5Bsrc%7Cyahoo-us" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>It's In His Kiss</p><p>amazon.com</p><span class="copyright">Courtesy Amazon</span>

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It's In His Kiss

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On the Way to the Wedding

<p><a href="https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00UG8RP3G?tag=syn-yahoo-20&ascsubtag=%5Bartid%7C10067.a.40021832%5Bsrc%7Cyahoo-us" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>On the Way to the Wedding</p><p>amazon.com</p><span class="copyright">Courtesy Amazon</span>

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