After Netflix’s Heartstopper delivered another critically acclaimed run of shows in season two, fans are already clamouring for season three.
With a third season confirmed by the streamer in 2022 at the same time as season two, fans won’t have to hold their breath waiting for a renewal, so it’s all a question of when and how rather than if.
Based on Alice Oseman’s beloved graphic novel series of the same name, Heartstopper has largely stayed faithful to its source material to date, though fans of the original series will know season two’s final episodes took things in a slightly different direction.
In the comic, Nick and Charlie head home after a trip to Paris, but the TV adaptation adds in a prom and some extra scenes, such as Nick hitting back at his homophobic brother (that comes later in the graphic novel) and the final scene, where the couple discuss mental health and appear on the verge of saying “I love you” for the first time (that comes much earlier in the graphic novel).
With fans on tenterhooks to find out if Nick and Charlie really did say “I love you”, read on below for everything we know about Heartstopper season three.
When will Heartstopper season three be released?
Netflix has not confirmed a release date for Heartstopper season three, but it would be reasonable to expect the next run of episodes to follow a similar pattern to the rollout of the first two seasons, meaning it’s likely to go into production later in 2023 and hit the streaming service in 2024.
However, the official Netflix France account send fans into a frenzy in soon after the release of season two, with a tweet declaring that Heartstopper season three was “coming soon”.
However, it’s worth taking that statement with a healthy pinch of salt, as the account later clarified that “soon” means that “it’s planned but we don’t have a date yet, so it could be between today and the end of the world.”
One thing to bear in mind is the current strike action being held by the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and Writers’ Guild of America (WGA) in the US. While the show does use British unions which are not affected by the ongoing strikes, Netflix are an impacted company so there may be delays to the production and release.
Which cast members are coming back?
While no formal cast announcements have been made for Heartstopper season three, it’s likely that all the core favourites will be back, such as Kit Connor (Nick Nelson), Joe Locke (Charlie Spring), Yasmin Finney (Elle Argent), William Gao (Tao Xu), Tobie Donovan (Isaac Henderson), Corinna Brown (Tara Jones), Kizzy Edgell (Darcy Olsson) and Rhea Norwood (Imogen Heaney).
Fans will also be hopeful that some of season two’s new additions might be returning for another outing, including Leila Khan (who plays Sahar Zahid), Jack Barton (David Nelson), Bradley Riches (James McEwan), Nima Taleghani (Mr Farouk) Bel Priestley (Naomi) and Ash Self (Felix).
There is one notable confirmed departure from the cast, with Sebastian Croft not returning for season three.
Sebastian Croft’s Ben Hope will not be returning in Heartstopper season 3. (Samuel Dore/Netflix)
It comes after his character, Ben Hope, was written out towards the end of season two, with the series antagonist revealing he planned to move schools after attempting to reconcile with Charlie.
Addressing his exit, Croft said he and series creator Alice Oseman thought it was important not give his character redemption: “Alice and I both felt strongly about him not having a redemption arc. It’s a really beautiful way of having these two people who have been through a lot — and Ben’s been horrible to Charlie — to have that conversation and explore it on a deeper level than I felt like we got to do in season 1.”
Oseman added that she looks forward to see what How to Date Billy Walsh star Croft does next: “I know that he’ll go on to do incredible things, and I will be cheering from the sidelines all the way.”
What will happen in Heartstopper season three?
Those that have read the ongoing graphic novel series will have a good idea of what to expect from season three but it’s also clear that the TV adaptation intends to explore mental health more explicitly.
In an interview with Netflix, Oseman said: “I think [season two’s ending] just sets up that conversation for next season. We know that Charlie loves Nick, and I think we know that Nick loves Charlie as well. It’s just about when and how they’re going to say that to each other.”
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Fans can also find out what’s in store for Nick and Charlie in the original graphic novel series when Heartstopper Volume 5 is released on 9 November 2023.
Oseman has confirmed that the graphic novels will end with a surprise sixth volume, which currently has no release date.
Heartstopper seasons one and two are available to stream on Netflix now.