EXCLUSIVE: MGM+ has set cast for Belgravia: The Next Chapter, Julian Fellowes’ sequel series to the hit historical drama. Harriet Slater, Ben Wainwright, Edward Bluemel, Claude Perron and Elaine Cassidy are set as series regulars in the drama series executive produced by Gareth Neame and Nigel Marchant. Additionally, Toby Regbo, Hannah Onslow, Sophie Thompson and Sophie Winkleman will recur in the eight-part series. Filming is underway in the UK with premiere set for winter 2023.
The Next Chapter is a continuation of Belgravia, named for and set in the affluent London district that became synonymous with the upper echelons of London society in the 19th century.
Belgravia: The Next Chapter picks up in 1871, three decades after the events depicted in the 2020 limited series, which was written by Fellowes (Downton Abbey, The Gilded Age) and based on his novel of the same name. Developed and written by playwright and screenwriter Helen Edmundson (Dalgliesh, Mary Magdalene), the series tells the love story of Frederick Trenchard (Wainwright), who has grown up as the third Lord Trenchard, and his new love interest, Clara Dunn (Slater), who is a newcomer to London society. Unaware that his birth was the product of an affair between his mother Susan and the scoundrel John Bellasis, a troubled childhood has left Frederick deeply insecure, which challenges his courtship of and marriage to Clara.
Slater’s Clara Trenchard (née Dunn) is a young, smart, and striking woman, and a fresh face amongst the society of Belgravia, Clara is thrilled by her marriage to the enigmatic Frederick … but as she comes to learn more of her husband and the trauma he carries, Clara finds her marriage will not be as smooth as she first thought and is something she must fight for.
Wainwright’s Frederick Trenchard, the young and handsome third Lord Trenchard, Frederick takes after his grandfather with a ferocious work ethic, having built a large business empire. Immediately smitten with Clara, he marries her after a whirlwind romance, but brings with him traumas from his past that threatens his newfound happiness.
Bluemel plays Dr. Stephen Ellerby. An idealistic, charming, and attractive young doctor, Stephen is brought into the society of Belgravia as he cares for Peter, son of the Duke of Rochester—a far cry from his life amongst the bohemians of Bloomsbury. He is quickly captivated by Clara after meeting her and starts to gain her trust as their lives interweave.
Regbo plays Rev. James Trenchard, Frederick’s estranged brother. A gentle, kind and religious man, James is haunted by both the separation from his brother and a private battle he is determined to keep hidden.
Onslow portrays Emily Dunn, Clara’s older sister. Emily responds to her sister’s swift marriage with a hint of jealousy as she is desperate to make her own match. But when she throws herself into charity work at her new church, she is instantly attracted to the Reverend James Trenchard.
Thompson plays Mrs. Dunn, Emily and Clara’s devoted mother. Mrs Dunn is a nervous, giddy, and chatty widow who has moved to Belgravia with her daughters and is thrilled by Clara’s new marriage and the security in social standing it brings.
Perron plays The Marquise D’Étagnac, a glamorous and highly unconventional French businesswoman, who is introduced to Belgravia by the Duke and Duchess of Rochester. Offering a wealth of business opportunities, Frederick sees a chance to expand into new areas of industry.
Winkleman portrays Duchess of Rochester. The queen of Belgravia, the Duchess and her husband stand at the top of Belgravia’s social hierarchy – but privately, she struggles to reconcile the Duke’s feelings towards their unwell, eldest son Peter with her own wishes for his care.
Cassidy plays Davison. Clara’s newly appointed lady’s maid, Davison grows to protect her mistress with a fierce devotion, recognizing Clara’s youth and need for love. Davison has experienced hard times in her own past and is intent on supporting Clara through her struggles.
Led by Neame, the series reunites Carnival’s award-winning creative team behind the original series. Neame and Marchant will serve as executive producers with Fellowes and Joanna Strevens. Helen Edmundson serves as showrunner and executive producer. The series will be directed by John Alexander, Paul Wilmshurst and Marisol Adler. Colin Wratten (Killing Eve) who produced the original series, will return as producer.
Belgravia: The Next Chapter is a Carnival Films co-production with MGMPlus Studios and will be distributed by NBCUniversal Global Distribution. Carnival Films is part of Universal International Studios, a division of Universal Studio Group.
Slater, best known as Sandra Onslow in the HBO Max DC origin series Pennyworth, she recently wrapped filming the lead role in Sony Screen Gems’ Horrorscope as well as True Haunting, alongside Jamie Campbell Bower and Erin Moriarty. Slater is repped by The Artists Partnership in the UK and Untitled Entertainment in the U.S.
Wainwright’s recent credits include great roles on Sky Atlantic’s Gangs of London, and a guest lead on BBC One’s The Split. He also has a multi-episode arc on the BBC One series World on Fire, starring opposite Sean Bean and Lesley Manville. Wainwright is represented by Insight Management & Production.
Bluemel is currently filming a leading role in Amazon’s My Lady Jane, starring Emily Bader. He’ll next be seen in Hulu miniseries Washington Black, set for premiere this year. Bluemel is repped by Epilogue.
Regbo is known for his leading roles in CW’s Reign and The Last Kingdom. He also starred in Netflix’s Medici and his film work includes Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald and One Day. Regbo can most recently be seen in Series Three of A Discovery of Witches and Channel 4’s Chivalry. Regbo is repped by Independent Talent Group and Authentic Talent and Literary Management.
Onslow recently finished shooting Sally El Hosaini’s feature film Unicorn and The Doll Factory for Paramount+. Her other credits include Ridley Road for Red Productions, Sister/BBC’s in This Is Going To Hurt and director Sam Mendes’ Empire of Light. She’s repped by Gordon and French.
A six-time Olivier Award nominee and winner of the 1999 Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Musical, Thompson most recently starred in Present Laughter at The Old Vic. Her television credits include Everything I Know About Love, Sandylands and a recurring role in BBC’s The Detectorists. Thompson is represented by Independent Talent Group.
Perron was most recently seen in the play Tartuffe at the Royal Haymarket of London. She’ll next appear in the anticipated Spanish Balenciaga series biopic produced by Disney+. She’ll also be seen on screen in a French comedy that will be released in Christmas 2023. Perron is represented by AS Talents.
Winkleman’s TV credits include regular roles in Peep Show and Two and a Half Men; her most recent work includes leading roles in ITV’s Sanditon and Strike for the BBC. For film, Sophie’s credits include The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Suzie Gold and the leading role in Mike Figgis’s Love Live Long. She’ll next be seen on the big screen in Wonka, directed by Paul King. Winkleman is repped by Hamilton Hodell.
Cassidy stars in the new Sebastián Lelio film The Wonder, which premiered at Telluride Film Festival in September. Her television work includes CBS’ Harper’s Island, BBC miniseries Fingersmith, BAFTA-nominated police procedural No Offence and BBC’s Emmy nominated The Paradise and A Room with A View, adapted by Andrew Davies. She’s repped by ARG.