PBS’ Marie Antoinette Season 2 Has Begun Filming in France

Image Credit: Caroline Dubois/Canal+/BBC

The filming of PBS’ Marie Antoinette Season 2, which was set to start in Fall 2023, has begun in France. The historical drama revolves around Marie Antoinette, the last queen of France before the French Revolution, exploring her life as a stubborn princess, the ruler of the French kingdom, a fashion icon, and a feminist figure. Several historical attractions in France host the production of the season for shooting. These locations include the Palace of Versailles, Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte in Maincy, and Château de Champs-sur-Marne. The communes of Lésigny and Bry-sur-Marne also serve as the filming locations of the second installment. The sophomore round of the much-loved period drama series will likely premiere in 2024.

Image Credit: Caroline Dubois/Canal+/BBC

BAFTA-nominated director Ed Bazalgette, who is known for directing the episodes of ‘The Last Kingdom’ and ‘Doctor Who,’ is directing the new season. Deborah Davis, who received an Oscar nomination for writing the Olivia Colman-starrer ‘The Favourite’ (2018), co-wrote the sophomore round. In addition to Davis, Louise Ironside, Charlotte Wolf, Francesca Forristal, and Andrew Bambfield also wrote the upcoming installment. 

The new season will follow Marie Antoinette (Emilia Schüle) and Louis XVI (Louis Cunningham) as they battle attacks of Provence and Chartres. They supposedly attract the hate of the nobles, which paves the way for catastrophic consequences. Antoinette and Louis XIV will also be facing a financial crisis that they must overcome to sustain their kingdom. Jack Archer, Oscar Lesage, and Jasmine Blackborow will be returning to the second season as Provence, Chartres, and Lamballe respectively. 

The first season of the show made its American premiere in March 2023, after its French premiere in October 2022, and received immense acclaim. The show was renewed for a second season by Canal+ in March 2023 as well. “Without a doubt, ‘Marie Antoinette’ has been a popular drama with our buyers worldwide, and this is a testament to the world-class producers in France who have created a premium, returning series for the international market,” Cathy Payne of Banijay Rights, the company that distributes the series globally, said in a statement.

The rebranding of Marie Antoinette as a feminist icon by Deborah Davis drew criticism from French purists and conservatives. However, this did not stop the show from receiving appreciation from the rest of its viewers. The character of Marie Antoinette has been reinvented for several movies and TV shows but this refreshing and quirky take on her personality is what propelled the show to the pinnacles of success. Emilia Schüle with her doe-eyed performance gathered love and acknowledgement. The period drama is riddled with uncanny, eccentric, and sometimes grotesque humor which made it stand out amongst the plethora of historical shows released in the last year. Fans of the show are excited about the new season as they await to see the young queen find her way through the complications that will challenge her. 

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