'Bridgerton' showrunner says fans can expect more queer storylines in future seasons

 Luke Thompson as Benedict Bridgerton in Bridgerton.
Luke Thompson as Benedict Bridgerton in Bridgerton.

There has been much fan-murmuring over whether the Netflix hit "Bridgerton" will lean into the more progressive sensibilities of Benedict Bridgerton (Luke Thompson) and give the character the LGBTQ+ treatment on the show. But with the series choosing to skip over Benedict's story for the friends-to-lovers relationship between his younger brother Colin (Luke Newton) and Penelope Featherington (Nicola Coughlan) in "Bridgerton" season 3, it's understandable for viewers to be wondering if we'll ever get a queer love story in the Ton.

The "Bridgerton" universe did feature a queer romance in its spinoff series, "Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story," between Reynolds and Brimsley. And there is, of course, some LGBT representation amongst the cast, most notably with its season 2 lead Jonathan Bailey, who identifies as a gay man in real life. But the original "Bridgerton" series has been lacking in onscreen queer love for the past two seasons, a deficiency that new showrunner Jess Brownell — who has taken the reins this season from creator Chris Van Dusen — hopes to rectify in episodes to come.

In a recent interview with Pride.com, Brownell assured that queer inclusion is very much a top priority for the creative now that she has taken over the showrunner role. “This is a show about love in its many forms and I think that it's only right for us to foreground queer love and to tell queer stories,” she told the outlet. “I want to see more queer joy on my screens and that was definitely a priority for me when I stepped into the showrunner role.”

However, Brownell did not specify whether those impending queer stories will center on already existing characters like Benedict or instead on not-yet-introduced personalities. “How exactly that plays out over this season and the next couple seasons, I can't say specifically, but I will say I'm excited for fans to see that,” she added.

And the stars of "Bridgerton" are similarly excited about the prospect of more LGBTQ+ representation in the period drama, which has already been anachronistically progressive when it comes to issues like race and feminism. Nicola Coughlan, who steps into the spotlight this season as lead character Penelope Featherington, told the outlet that she's "desperate" for more queer inclusion on the show.

"I cannot wait. I think it will be so beautiful,” the actress told Pride. “The wonderful thing about Bridgerton is it's an invented world that has never existed. It's a Regency London in which we wear all these mad bright colors, it's really diverse, there's glitter eyeshadow. So I think there's so much space there for queer love stories and I think all love stories deserve to be celebrated.”

The third season of "Bridgerton" will drop in two parts: the first four episodes on Thursday, May 16, with the final four installments to follow on Thursday, June 13. Brownell has previously teased that it will be clear to those who watch season 3 which Bridgerton sibling will be the focus of the show's already-greenlit fourth season, so whether that's Benedict Bridgerton — and whether the season will see a queer relationship — remains to be seen.

Tom's Guide will keep you posted on all upcoming episodes, but in the meantime, you can revisit the first two seasons of "Bridgerton" on Netflix.