Cut from the same cloth! With any book-to-screen adaptation, it’s normal for changes and tweaks to be made to the story line — and Bridgerton is no exception.
The new period drama, which premiered on Netflix in December 2020, is based on author Julia Quinn’s book series of the same name. Both versions follow Daphne Bridgerton (Phoebe Dynevor), as she struggles to find a husband after making her debut on London’s social scene. To boost her chances, she cooks up a scheme with Simon Basset (Regé-Jean Page) to pretend to be a couple in order to attract other potential suitors. The plan was intended to be mutually beneficial, as the Duke of Hastings wanted to dismiss concerns about him not getting married.
Bridgerton is the first project released under TV mogul Shonda Rhimes’ Netflix deal following her 2017 exit from ABC, where she produced acclaimed shows such as Grey’s Anatomy and How to Get Away With Murder.
Quinn has said that she never anticipated that her books would be adapted for the screen. “Truly, I never thought this would happen to me. And I never thought it would happen to anyone because nobody was adapting romance novels, historical, or really even contemporary, for screen other than Hallmark movies,” she told Entertainment Weekly in December 2020. “If somebody was going to do a period piece, they wanted to do another adaptation of Jane Austen or one of the Brontë sisters.”
The New York native continued, “Those are all wonderful, but the historical romance novels that are being written today are a little bit different. And there’s a huge market for them. I don’t think it’s at all surprising that the person who would realize that would be Shonda Rhimes.”
An important aspect of Netflix’s Bridgerton is modernizing it by including a diverse cast, which creator Chris Van Dusen said was done intentionally to appeal to today’s viewers. “We knew we wanted to make the show reflect the world that we live in today,” he explained to Collider in December 2020. “And, even though it’s set in the 19th century, we still wanted modern audiences to relate to it, and see themselves on screen no matter who they were. And, that’s something having worked in Shondaland for so long, since Grey’s Anatomy really, it’s what we do.”
The show’s popularity has allowed the stunning cast to become household names, especially Dynevor and Page.
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Scroll down to learn the biggest differences between the Bridgerton show and 10-book series!