Bridgerton Season 3 Has Recast The Role Of The Second Youngest Bridgerton Daughter, Francesca

Regency-era romance will soon return to Netflix thanks to "Bridgerton" season 3 heading into production this summer. As the adaptation of Julia Quinn's steamy novel series prepares to thrust another Bridgerton sibling into the spotlight, the show is shoring up its roster of romantic leads: Variety reports that Hannah Dodd is set to take over the role of Francesca Bridgerton from Ruby Stokes. Dodd has previously starred in "Harlots" and Netflix's own "Anatomy of a Scandal," and also has a role in the upcoming "Enola Holmes" sequel. As for Stokes, she's stepping aside to be the lead in Netflix's supernatural YA thriller, "Lockwood & Co."

If the name Francesca Bridgerton doesn't ring any bells, you can't really be blamed. As played by Stokes, Francesca was notably absent for much of the first season, which she spent away from home, studying pianoforte with an "Aunt Winnie." In fact, Francesca's absence was so pointed that it become a running joke among fans that only continued when the second season came around and Francesca disappeared after only three episodes. EP and showrunner Chris Van Dusen later explained that there was no story explanation — it was merely an issue of conflicting schedules and Stokes' prior commitment to her other Netflix project. Van Dusen told TVLine:

"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. Perhaps Season 3 will be the charm."

Third times the charm, after all. Recasting Francesca is a signal that she may actually get more than two lines a season! Per her character description,​​ Francesca remains "a bit of a mystery within her chatty, extroverted family. 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." An introvert among the Bridgetons promises a nice change of pace, certainly if we get to see how her personality clash with her much chattier, siblings.

Eight seasons for eight Bridgertons

Watching Bridgerton is 90% reveling at all the pining and sexual tension and 10% struggling to keep track of all these goddamn Bridgerton kids. It helps (a little) that their parents decided to follow an alphabetical naming convention — so if you ever lose track, just remember to run through their names from A to H. Keeping an eye out for each Bridgerton is especially important as the series continues on, because in Quinn's series, each sibling gets to be at the center of a novel about their specific live tale. Van Dusen and series creator Shonda Rhimes indicate a similar eight-season plan for the series, though it may be told in a different order. So far, "Bridgerton" has followed the book order, beginning with "The Duke and I," and following up with "The Viscount Who Loved Me." The first season traced the irresistible tale of the fourth-born sibling and eldest girl, Daphne who falls for the ridiculously handsome Duke of Hastings (Regé Jean Page). The second season saw eldest boy Anthony take center stage, and the series has yet to announce who will step up for the third.

As described by the infamous gossip, Lady Whistledown, the Bridgerton family is composed of "four perfectly handsome sons and four perfectly beautiful daughters." They're relatively charming, definitely rich, and barring a few close calls, they're in pretty good standing when it comes to high society manners. But no amount of beauty, money, or reputation can buy sense because the Bridgertons are also the absolute worst when it comes to making good decisions. Things like communicating with the person you love, understanding the basics of sex ed, or generally not making a fool of themselves in public seems genuinely impossible in this family. But maybe Francesca will be different.

Netflix has yet to reveal a release date for season 3 of "Bridgerton," but production begins in summer 2022.