Bridgerton Season 3 will feature a new star taking over the role of Francesca Bridgerton.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Ruby Stokes is departing the Netflix juggernaut.
Hannah Dodd (Anatomy of a Scandal) has been tapped to replace her.
As for why the role is being recast, it has been revealed that Stokes has joined the cast of Lockwood & Co, another project at Netflix.
“Francesca Bridgerton is a bit of a mystery within her chatty, extroverted family,” according to the updayted character description for Francesa.
“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.”
Stokes was set to have a huge presence on Bridgerton Season 2, but the star had to leave after three episodes due to her commitment to the other Netflix title.
Bridgerton boss Chris Van Dusen previously addressed the exit in an interview with TV Line.
“I love Francesca, but we lost her midway through Season 2,” Van Dusen shared with the outlet.
“After exhausting all other options, she unfortunately had to come out due to reasons beyond our control. Perhaps Season 3 will be the charm.”
Now, however, it will be an entirely new star in the role.
It’s unclear at this stage which couple will take center stage on Bridgerton Season 3, but if the series follows the novel series, Francesca’s love story will not be played out until the sixth season.
Bridgerton landed a renewal for seasons 3 and 4 a year ago, following the record-breaking success of the first season.
“It seems we have a rather special announcement,” a statement from Lady Whistledown said of the news.
“Bridgerton shall return for seasons three and four. This author shall have to purchase more ink.”
“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,” said Bela Bajaria, VP, Global TV at Netflix.
“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.”
Bridgerton Season 2 launched earlier this year with Jonathan Bailey and Simone Ashley taking center stage.
The show broke its own record on Netflix, so we should probably prepare for several years of Bridgerton.
What are your thougths on the recasting?
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Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.