Bridgerton character Francesca, the sixth Bridgerton child and third daughter in the family, has been recast ahead of the third season of Netflix‘s popular period drama series.
Francesca Bridgerton will now be played by Hannah Dodd, whose credits include Netflix limited-series Anatomy of a Scandal, Marvel film Eternals, and the upcoming Enola Holmes sequel with Millie Bobby Brown. Deadline broke the news, reporting that Dodd is taking over the part from Ruby Stokes, who had two appearances as the character in season 1 and turned up in the first three episodes of season 2… and then she was gone.
Stokes, you see, was cast as the star of an upcoming Netflix show titled Lockwood & Co., a detective thriller series based on Jonathan Stroud’s book series of the same name. Stokes was attached to Bridgerton in ‘recurring guest star’ capacity, thus making it possible for her to take on a ‘series regular’ role in Lockwood & Co., which clearly demanded much more of her attention. It explains why Francesca was notably absent from proceedings in Bridgerton season 2’s later episodes.
Bridgerton‘s season 1 and 2 showrunner, Chris Van Dusen, talked a little about losing Stokes back in March, telling TV Line: “I love Francesca, but we lost her midway through Season 2. After exhausting all other options, she unfortunately had to come out due to reasons beyond our control.”
As for Dodd, her casting in Bridgerton means that Francesca’s presence in the series can be a little bigger than what we’ve seen thus far. And, as fans of Julia Quinn’s best-selling series of Bridgerton novels will know, it’s important that we have our Francesca for her spotlight in the potential sixth season. Quinn’s sixth book, When He Was Wicked, finds wealthy London libertine Michael Stirling smitten with Francesca – but, unfortunately for him, she mostly thinks of him as her dear friend and confidant.
Bridgerton season 3, which will have series executive story editor Jess Brownell move into showrunner and executive producer position, is currently in casting and gearing up for a production start in London later this year.