Shonda Rhimes is officially moving her empire to Netflix (opens in new tab), having signed a deal with the streaming platform for eight products that reportedly rang in at $150 million. After Rhimes' mega-success with ABC shows like Grey's Anatomy, (opens in new tab) How to Get Away with Murder, and Private Practice, we were all wondering what she'd be doing next. Finally, we know: Rhimes' first Netflix show is going to be based on a mega-popular book series, Bridgerton by Julia Quinn.
The historical romance series has fans everywhere, to put it mildly—it's been translated into 32 languages and has sold over 10 million copies in the U.S. alone. Here's everything we know about Rhimes' steamy Netflix original show.
What do we know about Bridgerton the book series?
Quinn has been dubbed the Jane Austen of our era, and is one of 16 authors to have been inducted in the Romance Writers of America Hall of Fame. What was initially supposed to be a trilogy blossomed into an eight-book series about the Bridgerton family and their eight children's quests in love, all set in in the high society of Regency London between 1813 and 1827.
Each book is about one of the Bridgerton children: Anthony, Benedict, Colin, Daphne, Eloise, Francesca, Gregory, and Hyacinth. There's also been two spin-off series, one about the Rokesby family who are neighbors to the Bridgertons, and another about the Smythe-Smith quartet.
What's the plot of Bridgerton the show?
'The Duke and I' by Julia Quinn
Since the show has been given the green light for a single season so far, it makes sense for it to start from the beginning of the beloved series. If the show continues, we expect it'll follow in the same pattern as Quinn's books.
The first book of the series, The Duke and I, tells the story of Daphne Bridgerton and Simon Basset. The two are engaged, but only as a ploy so that Simon—who has vowed to never marry—can fend off the society mothers pushing their eligible daughters on him. Yet, during their arrangement, Daphne finds herself falling for Simon and has to figure out how to make their fake relationship into a real one.
Yes, it's the classic "fake dating that turns into real dating" trope, but we're making it 1813.
When is Bridgerton coming out?
From a tweet from the legendary Lady Whistledown herself (don't worry, you'll get to know her later), Bridgerton's release date is on December 25. So, uh, maybe this year has a silver lining after all?
Dear reader, I am Lady Whistledown, and as the social season draws near, I believe it my responsibility to keep you informed. Allow me to introduce you to The Ton.October 15, 2020
Is there a Bridgerton trailer yet?
Lady Whistledown isn't one to leave us on our toes, so, naturally, a trailer has been released to pique our interests, and did it ever!
In the clip, we see the start of the season (think if finding a husband was a springtime activity) in London begin, and everyone is desperate to make a match. Your livelihood depends on making a match—because, you know, it's the 19th century and all.
Our main character, Daphne (played by Phoebe Dynevor), seems to be having a dull season until she meets a handsome duke, and things start to get hot, and well, dramatic because hello, it's from Rhimes after all.
I'm talking pistols! Steamy shots of people clutching sheets! Corsets you would see on Instagram models! December 25 could not come any faster.
I'm not one for spoilers, so take in the trailer in all its glory below:
Who's in the Bridgerton cast?
We won't see her, but Oscar-winning and once-Queen of Genovia icon Julie Andrews has signed on to play Lady Whistledown. She'll voice gossip columnist that plays a key role in the first half of the books. Variety (opens in new tab)described her character (opens in new tab) as such: "Anonymous to readers, the sharp-tongued gossip writer uses a curious mix of social commentary and scathing insult to send the season of 1813's ton into an all-out frenzy."
As for who will play our two leads in the series: Phoebe Dynevor, who you may recognize as Clare from Younger, has been slated as Daphne Bridgerton. As for Simon Basset, he will be played by Regé-Jean Page from ABC's For The People .
For the rest of the Bridgeton bunch, we'll have: Jonathan Bailey (Broadchurch) as Anthony, Florence Hunt as Hyacinth, Claudia Jessie (Vanity Fair) as Eloise, Luke Newton (The Lodge) as Colin, Ruby Stokes as Francesca, Luke Thompson as Benedict, and Will Tilston as Gregory. Ruth Gemmell will play Lady Violet Bridgerton, the mother hen of all the Bridgerton children.
We can't forget the Featheringtons, the other elite family in town. Casting for the family includes Harriet Cains as Philippa, Bessit Carter as Prudence, Nicola Coughlan (Derry Girls) as Penelope, Ben Miller (The Armstrong and Miller Show) as Lord Featherington, and Polly Walker (Rome) as Lady Portia Featherington.
Do we have photos from the Bridgerton set?
From the photos from the series, it looks like the Bridgerton world is filled with stunning costumes and elaborate sets that have us wishing it was December 25th already. We! Can't! Wait!
Bianca Rodriguez is the Fashion & Luxury Commerce Manager at Hearst Magazines, covering fashion, beauty, and more for Cosmopolitan, Elle, Esquire, Harper’s BAZAAR, and Town & Country. She likes lounging about with a good book and thinks a closet without platform sneakers is a travesty.
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