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Bridgerton Showrunner Explains Importance of Changing Francesca’s Love Story From the Books

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Bridgerton Showrunner Explains Importance of Changing Francesca’s Love Story From the Books

Following the release of Bridgerton Season 3’s remaining four episodes, it revealed the hit show’s creative team have decided to add a surprising twist to Francesca Bridgerton’s love story.

At the end of the Season 3 finale, viewers were introduced to John Stirling’s cousin Michaela Stirling, portrayed by The Woman King’s Masali Baduza, who will be traveling with them to Scotland. Her introduction confirmed that Francesca’s original love interest Michael Stirling from Julia Quinn’s When He Was Wicked novel has now been gender-swapped in the Netflix adaptation. Prior to this revelation, Bridgerton showrunner Jess Brownell previously teased the possibility of showing more queer love stories in future seasons of the popular romance drama. This would serve as one of the show’s major departures from the source material.

What to expect from Francesca’s Love Story in future Bridgerton seasons?

Speaking with Deadline, Brownell explained their creative decision for changing Francesca’s love story in future installments of Bridgerton, revealing that she had actually been pitching this change from the beginning.

“When I read her book, I, as a queer woman, really related to her book. Maybe in a way Julia Quinn didn’t intend, but a lot of Francesca’s book is about feeling different from her family and from the world around her and not really knowing why,” Brownell said. “In the book, I think it’s mostly just about being introverted. But I think for a lot of queer people, not every queer person, but a lot of queer people, that sense of feeling different from the time you’re young, is part of our stories. So it felt like a natural one to gender bend.”

Since most queer romances don’t end well in period drama, some fans might be thinking that Francesca and Michaela’s story won’t have a happy ending. However, Brownell assured viewers that Francesca’s love story will get her happy ending just like her siblings.

She added, “There are certain elements of her story, historically, that allow us some wiggle room in terms of creating a happily ever after, which we very much want to have. I think when approaching a queer story, it’s very important to me that in this world of happily ever afters that we are able to see a queer happily ever after and not let it be queer trauma.”

Based on Julia Quinn’s bestselling novel series, Bridgerton is executive produced by Shonda Rhimes and showrunner Jess Brownell. It stars Nicola Coughlan, Luke Newton, Golda Rosheuvel, Jonathan Bailey, Claudia Jessie, Ruby Barker, Sabrina Bartlett, Ruth Gemmell, Adjoa Andoh, Polly Walker, Bessie Carter, Simone Ashley, and