Fans of “Bridgerton” may not recognize Francesca when she returns for season 3 of the Netflix period drama.
Earlier in the year, season 1 and 2 showrunner Chris Van Dusen opened up on her lack of screentime in the show’s second season. He had told TV Line “I love Francesca, but we lost her midway through season two. After exhausting all other options, she, unfortunately, had to come out due to reasons beyond our control. Perhaps season three will be the charm.”
According to Deadline, the role has since been recast. Ruby Stokes will be replaced by “Anatomy of a Scandal” actress Hannah Dodd.
‘Bridgerton’ Season 3 Will Recast Hannah Dodd As Francesca
Deadline reported that Ruby Stokes has stepped out of the role of Francesca to play the lead role in another Netflix series, the upcoming “Lockwood & Co.,” which is said to be an adaptation of Jonathan Stroud’s books.
Dodd is a British actress and model who most recently appeared in David E. Kelley’s six-part Netflix anthology series “Anatomy of a Scandal” as Young Sophie, the younger version of series lead Sienna Miller. Dodd also recently played one of the leads in Lifetime’s “Flowers In The Attic: The Origin.” Earlier this year, she finished filming the “Enola Holmes” sequel, opposite Millie Bobby Brown.
Dodd’s very first acting role was a series lead in “Find Me in Paris.” She also appeared in two seasons of “Harlots.”
Not much is known about the Netflix version of Francesca, except that she is highly skilled at playing the piano. Stokes had two very brief appearances in season one, during which her character went off to Bath to visit her aunt.
In season 2, Strokes made brief appearances in the first three episodes before she disappeared for the rest of the season without explanation. Although her disappearance was not addressed in the show, fans now know that the actress left the period drama to star in “Lockwood & Co.”
Fans Suspected That Francesca Would Be Recast
Fans had first started theorizing that Francesca would be recast after a casting notice for a new series regular was posted last December. It’s believed that Stokes was only contracted as a recurring guest star on the show, which is what allowed her to become a series regular on another show.
While Daphne Bridgerton is the oldest Bridgerton daughter, Eloise is the second oldest, Francesca is the third oldest, and Hyacinth is the youngest. Daphne’s love story was explored in Netflix’s first season, which corresponds with the first book in the Julia Quinn series the show is based on.
If the show continues to follow the books with one love story per season, Francesca’s love story will not be featured until season 6, based on the sixth book “When He Was Wicked.”
The cast and crew are currently preparing to start filming season 3 of the Netflix period drama this summer in London. No release date for the show’s third season has yet to be announced.
Chris Van Dusen, who has been at the helm for the show’s first two seasons, will step down and allow Jess Brownell to serve as the new showrunner for the popular series. Van Dusen will continue to stay on as executive producer. Other executive producers include Brownell, Shonda Rhimes, Betsy Beers, and Tom Verica.