Bridgerton EP Addresses Gender-Swapping Benedict’s Love Interest | Us Weekly

June 19, 2024

Will Benedict Meet His Book Love Interest Sophie After Gender-Swap Twist
Liam Daniel/Netflix

With gender-swapping being introduced on Bridgerton, what does this mean for Benedict’s book love interest, Sophie?

After Bridgerton‘s third season concluded on Thursday, June 13, showrunner Jess Brownell was asked whether fans can still expect Benedict (Luke Thompson) to meet Sophie or if Benedict’s love interest could be gender-swapped as well after he was confirmed as part of the LGBTQIA+ community.

“The introduction of Sophie is definitely still in the cards, but we are going to continue to explore his fluidity,” Brownell told TheWrap on Thursday. “This is not the end of that storyline.”

Season 3 of the Netflix hit showed Benedict learning more about his sexuality after having a threesome with both a woman and a man. “As any fluid person knows, fluidity is a part of your identity, whether or not you end up with a man, a woman or a nonbinary person,” Brownell continued.

The last episode, however, also dropped a major hint about Benedict’s future when his sister Eloise (Claudia Jessie) mentioned their mother’s masquerade ball. Fans of Julia Quinn‘s Bridgerton book series — which inspired the hit Netflix series — know that in An Offer From a Gentleman, Benedict becomes infatuated with a mystery woman a.k.a Sophie after meeting her briefly at the ball.

Will Benedict Meet His Book Love Interest Sophie After Gender-Swap Twist
Liam Daniel/Netflix

“At the end of Season 3, Eloise says to Benedict that she’s going to be home in a few months for Violet’s masquerade ball, so there will be a masquerade ball coming up shortly,” Brownell noted. “I’ll just leave it there.”

Viewers originally expected to meet Sophie during season 3 since Benedict’s story inspired the third novel in Quinn’s book series. The show, however, hasn’t followed the novels exactly when it comes to details — or the order of the seasons. The third season was the first time Bridgerton pivoted by focusing on Colin (Luke Newton) and Penelope (Nicola Coughlan) instead as seen in Quinn’s fourth book Romancing Mister Bridgerton.

Brownell recently broke down what changes she wanted to make and why.

“I am really not trying to shake things up too much. I really believe in the vision of the show,” Brownell told Refinery29 in April. “I really want to serve the stories and the books the best way possible. It just naturally felt like, for Penelope and Colin, it made sense to lean into a romantic comedy tropes. So this season does have a bit more humor in it and it has the awkward banter. So that’s something that will feel slightly elevated in terms of being different from last season.”

Thompson, 35, for his part, didn’t appear to be bothered by the fact that Benedict’s story has been delayed.

“It’d be nice to give the character a full exploration, that’d be really fun, but the way the show runs — it’s a big ensemble show,” he told Country and Town House in May. “As long as I’m given interesting things to do, I don’t really mind.”

Will Benedict Meet His Book Love Interest Sophie After Gender-Swap Twist
Liam Daniel/Netflix

Another narrative shakeup took place during the season 3 finale when Francesca (Hannah Dodd) met her future love interest. In the When He Was Wicked book, which focuses on Francesca’s journey, Francesca fell in love with now-husband John’s (Victor Alli) cousin Michael. The series swapped Michael out for Michaela (Masali Baduza), which not every book fan was thrilled to see.

“The fact of the matter is, the fan base is not a monolith, and you’re never going to please every single side of the fan base,” Brownell explained to Teen Vogue on Thursday. “In, for example, deciding to tell a queer story with Francesca, I spoke with Julia Quinn, I got her blessing.”

She added: “We talked about the fact that with almost any single book, there would be a side of the fandom that would be disheartened to see their favorite characters changed. I don’t think that there is any book that wouldn’t happen with, so for me, again, it came back to story, and it came back to character.”

Bridgerton is currently streaming on Netflix.

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