In an interview on Today with Hoda and Jenna, Van Dusen also confirmed that Season 2 will chronicle the marriage pursuits of the eldest Bridgerton sibling, Anthony, played by Jonathan Bailey, as depicted in the second book of Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton series, The Viscount Who Loved Me.
The shift in emphasis raises questions about the future on the Season 1 romantic leads, Regé-Jean Page and Phoebe Dynevor. Their characters’ arc was wrapped up nicely at the end of Season 1, which was based on the first book in Quinn’s series, The Duke and I. It centered on the complicated romance between the eldest Bridgerton daughter, Daphne (Dynevor), and the Duke of Hastings Simon Bassett (Page).
“I hope so,” Van Dusen said when asked whether Page and Dynevor’s characters will be back next season. “They are now of course the Duke and Duchess of Hastings but in my mind they will always be Bridgertons and I think they will always be part of the show.”
Dynevor shared with Deadline last week that she was in the dark about her future on the show.
“I genuinely have no idea what they’re going to do with the second season, but I imagine if they’re following the books, then it would be Anthony’s journey,” she said. “I’m sure Daphne will end up getting involved. But yeah, I do wonder what it looks like. I’m excited to find out.”
Van Dusen confirmed that production on Season 2 starts in late spring in London for what is believed to be a six-month shoot.
“We have a bunch of new characters we are going to be introducing,” he said. “Anthony is going to have a love interest next season, and I think it’s going to be as sweeping and moving and as beautiful as viewers of the first season have come to expect from the show.”
The love interest Van Dusen is likely referring to is Kate Sheffield, the female romantic lead opposite Anthony Bridgerton in The Viscount Who Loved Me. Like with the adaptation of The Duke & I, Anthony and his future love would like will not be an all-white couple, judging by the released casting breakdowns.
Anthony is coming off the heartbreaking end of his relationship with opera singer Siena.
“We left him at the end of the first season at a bit of a crossroads, so I’m looking forward to jumping in and discovering how he fares on the marriage market,” Van Dusen said.
The Bridgerton book series consists of eight novels, each revolving around the love life of one of the Bridgerton siblings, and Van Dusen has previously indicated that he would like to follow the format with a season dedicated to each of the brothers and sisters.
Season 1 production wrapped in February, just as the pandemic was hitting in a big way. During her interview, Dynevor was unsure how the lavish series that features hundreds of background performers and a number of sex scenes would be filmed under Covid safety protocols. “I can’t imagine how it would be possible to film under these circumstances,” she said. “There are so many extras and so many crew members, and it’s a very intimate show. It just baffles me how we would film it under Covid rules unless there was a vaccine beforehand.”