There’s Still Hope for Simone Ashley and Jonathan Bailey to Return for 'Bridgerton' Season 4

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'Bridgerton' Season 4: What We Know So FarANDREA RENAULT - Getty Images

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Colin Bridgerton and Penelope Featherington have at last enjoyed their Bridgerton-ordained happily ever after. (We wish them many joyful carriage rides!) But lest Netflix let any of us forget, there are five other Bridgerton siblings waiting in the wings for their chance at true love in Regency-era Mayfair: Benedict, Eloise, Francesca, Gregory, and Hyacinth. And with season 4 already deep into development, the speculation’s already simmering amongst Bridgerton’s most devoted debutantes fans. Who will wed next?

When will Bridgerton season 4 come out?

Viewers can expect about a two-year wait between season 3 and season 4, which means the next season is likely to drop sometime in 2026. “We are working to try and put the seasons out more quickly, but they do take eight months to film and then they have to be edited, and then they have to be dubbed into every language,” showrunner Jess Brownell told The Hollywood Reporter in June. “And the writing takes a very long time as well, so we’re kind of on a two-year pace. We’re trying to speed up but somewhere in that range.”

How to Read All the 'Bridgerton' Books In Order

Photo credit: Avon Books / Netflix
Photo credit: Avon Books / Netflix

Curious what comes next in the Bridgerton story? Here’s a handy guide for diving deeper into Julia Quinn’s Regency-era world.

Allow Hannah Dodd to Reintroduce Francesca Bridgerton

Photo credit: Liz Collins / Courtesy of Netflix
Photo credit: Liz Collins / Courtesy of Netflix

The actress talks taking over the role for season 3, her character’s search for a husband, and “getting thrown into the deep end” on set.

So, Are We Ready to Talk About the 'Bridgerton' Season 3 Carriage Scene?

Photo credit: Netflix
Photo credit: Netflix

We’ll never hear “Give Me Everything” the same way again.

Who will be in the season 4 cast?

Expect most of the Bridgerton siblings and their spouses to return, with the exception of Phoebe Dynevor as Daphne Bridgerton and, of course, Regé-Jean Page as Simon Basset. (Both proclaimed their time on the Netflix series finished as of season 2.) Among those anticipated to return are Luke Thompson (Benedict), Luke Newton (Colin), Hannah Dodd (Francesca), Claudia Jessie (Eloise), Nicola Coughlan (Penelope), Jonathan Bailey (Anthony), Simone Ashley (Kate), Adjoa Andoh (Lady Danbury), Ruth Gemmell (Violet Bridgerton), Golda Roshuvel (Queen Charlotte), Florence Hunt (Hyacinth), Will Tilston (Gregory), Daniel Francis (Lord Anderson), Martins Imhangbe (Will Mondrich), Harriet Cains (Philipppa Featherington), Polly Walker (Portia Featherington), and Bessie Carter (Prudence Featherington). New cast additions have yet to be announced.

Fans are holding out hope that season 4 will continue Kate and Anthony’s romantic storyline, and in an interview with Teen Vogue published on June 21, Bridgerton showrunner Jess Brownell shared that, as long as Ashley and Bailey can find time to film with each of their demanding schedules, she’d love to have them be a part of season 4.

“I think the strength of sending them off to India for a little while is that it does leave the door open for them to come back, schedules allowing,” she explained. “I think, understandably, when any of our lead actors have given over their lives for their season, in future seasons, we want to be supportive of the fact that they do have other projects coming in, and to ask actors to come back just to be in the background is not really fair to them. We love Jonny and Simone, and we’ll have them back as much as we are able to.”

Brownell also referred to the two actors as “a magic pairing.”

Which Bridgerton sibling will season 4 be about?

All signs point to Benedict Bridgerton as the next star of the show. When asked about the season 4 focus, Brownell was coy with THR, saying, “There’s so many different ships. I think one of the ships is going to be very, very happy.” Thus, Netflix has yet to officially announce the next Bridgerton sibling to get swept off his (or her) feet. But the season 3 finale makes a point to mention Lady Bridgerton’s upcoming masquerade ball, and observant fans will recognize the reference as both an Easter egg and a hint: In Julia Quinn’s book series, upon which Bridgerton is based, Benedict meets his love interest, Sophie, at one such masquerade ball. It’s tough to interpret such a moment as anything other than a sign of Benedict’s love story coming around the bend. But his sister, Francesca, might also share some of the spotlight. She’s off to Scotland with her husband John Stirling, sister Eloise, and his cousin, Michaela Stirling, who struck such an impression with Francesca at their first meeting. The season 3 finale seems to hint that the show could explore that relationship in the future.

Which Bridgerton book will season 4 be based on?

If season 4 indeed depicts Benedict’s saga, then it will be at least loosely based upon Quinn’s book An Offer From a Gentleman, a Cinderella-like tale in which Sophie Beckett lives as a maid to her stepmother and stepsisters. When she meets Benedict at the Bridgerton masquerade ball, the sparks fly immediately, but her mask shields Benedict from her true identity. After the evening’s end, Benedict swears to find her, but it isn’t until he encounters a familiar housemaid that he starts to question his feelings.

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What have the cast and crew said about season 4 so far?

Thompson, who plays Benedict, told The View on June 7 that “it would be great to dive in [as the leading man] at one point,” but confessed that his “honest” answer about season 4’s focus was “I don’t know.”

Still, other cast and crew members have hinted at big plans for Benedict ahead. Newton, who plays Colin, told Men’s Health that season 3 part 2, “for [Benedict], gets exciting and sets up so much for the future. And I know Jess, our showrunner, has so many plans not only for Benedict, but for other characters. The Bridgerton universe is going to be expanding and getting even more interesting every season.”

Brownell confirmed as much in her own interview with The Hollywood Reporter. “We’re toward the end with the writers room season, with the scripts,” she said. “And I feel like it’s some of my best work and my writers room’s best work. We’ve just really gelled our collaboration, and we’re firing on all cylinders so I can’t wait for fans to see what we have.”

This story will be updated.

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