Watch: 'Heartstopper' Set to Return in October – with New Cast Member Jonathan Bailey?

Kilian Melloy READ TIME: 3 MIN.

Netflix announced that its global smash hit "Heartstopper" will return in October... and sharp-eyed fans picked up on clues that the show's third season will feature "Bridgerton" star Jonathan Bailey.

In an announcement clip the streamer shared to YouTube, co-stars Joe Locke and Kit Connor stood in front of a location where a fun fair was in progress with brightly lit rides visible in the background.

The two actors play Charlie and Nick, two teenage boys who are in love and entering their final year of high school.

"This is Episode 8," Connor revealed of the setting, before going on to add that "it's started to get a bit more steamy" between the two characters. "We're about to rehearse," Connor added, "but I'll tell you what - we are about to have a great time!"

Later in the clip Connor revealed that "the sexual tension" and the "love" in the upcoming season is "high" between Charlie and Nick. "We're all there."

The clip also brought in other cast members, with trans actor Yasmin Finney, who plays Elle, saying, "The positive response from Season 2 has really, like, boosted all of our confidence" – her words audible as a still from the new season showed straight character Tao (William Gao) embracing Elle, with whom he has long been in love.

Gao spoke of Tao discovering a new "hobby" that will become a "passion" for him, and the clip ended with Connor giving Gao a bit of a massage.

"This is content right here," Gao said, smiling at the camera.

The clip specified that the eagerly anticipated new season will drop in October.

In comments posted to the Netflix site Tudum, series creator and writer Alice Oseman – who also created the graphic novels the show is based on – said, "While 'Heartstopper' will always celebrate the joyful and point towards hope, I'm really excited that we are allowing the tone of the show to mature alongside our beloved characters growing up."

"Mental health, sex, university ambitions and more," Oseman went on to say; "Nick, Charlie, and the 'Heartstopper' teens are getting older, learning more about themselves and each other, and experiencing new desires, new fears, and new joys as they approach adulthood."

While the show has not shied away from serious subject matter and has presented LGBTQ+ and straight teens alike in a consistently realistic manner, it has always remained tasteful and G-rated, and that seems likely to continue in Season 3.

But that doesn't mean the show can't evolve and add new characters, and internet sleuths may have picked up on a tidbit that Netflix did not disclose. There are indications that Jonathan Bailey, who co-starred in last year's historical gay romance "Fellow Travelers" with Matt Bomer, will be part of the cast in the new season.

"While it has yet to be confirmed by Netflix that Bailey has been cast," Radio Times detailed, "fans noticed that images posted to an Instagram account under the name Jack Maddox showed the star dressed like a character of a similar name from a mini-comic illustrated by 'Heartstopper' creator Alice Oseman."

"In one of the images, Bailey is seen dressed in a cardigan, a shirt and glasses, and is holding a book by Jack Maddox, titled '10 Things I Hate About Plato,'" Radio Times added. "In other images, he is holding a sign supporting trans rights."

If those were intended as clues to what's coming, the trail has now gone teasingly cold.

"The images have since been taken down," Radio Times relayed, and the Instagram account has been made private.

What do you say? Would Jonathan Bailey make a beloved and highly acclaimed show even better?

by Kilian Melloy , EDGE Staff Reporter

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.

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