Shonda Rhimes is officially moving her empire to Netflix, 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, 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.
Bridgerton is a popular eight-book romance 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.
The first book will provide the plot for Rhimes' show.
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 can put off the mother nagging at him to get married. 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.
The cast is glorious.
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 described her character 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.
The release date is expected to be...sometime in 2020.
Much like everything great, it's going to take some time to make. The eight-episode series is still supposed to come out sometime this year, however. It looks like they may still be filming the show, so it could be a while until we get a premiere date or even just a high-res pic of the cast in their 19th-century outfits.
Until then, we'll just keep looking at some of the BTS shots the cast has posted on Instagram using the #Bridgeton hashtag, because a girl will take anything she can get, even if it's just a photo of a table read. Proof it's happening is still proof, okay!
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