(Almost a) New Year, New Trailers!


We’re always trying to track what historical costume movies and TV shows are coming up. I always feel like we’ve Just Posted one of these, and then I go check and it’s been months. So, yay, we get some new stuff! As always, you can keep an eye on what’s forthcoming on our Upcoming Movies page!


A Christmas Carol (Dec. 19 on FX)

A gritty reboot starring Tom Hardy, with costumes by Joanna Eatwell.


The Aeronauts (Dec. 20 on Amazon)

Felicity Jones and Eddie Redmayne adventure in a hot air balloon; costumes by Alexandra Byrne.


1917 (Dec. 25)

A World War I movie starring Richard Madden, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Colin Firth, with costumes by Jacqueline Durran.


Little Women (Dec. 25)

Apparently we need Yet Another One. Meryl Streep is Marmee; costumes this time by Jacqueline Durran.


Sanditon (Jan. 12 on PBS)

Miniseries based on Jane Austen’s unfinished final novel; costumes by Sam Perry.


The Voyage of Doctor Doolittle (Jan. 17)

Robert Downey Jr. stars as the man who can talk to animals; costumes by Jenny Beavan.


Portrait of a Lady on Fire (Feb. 14)

“On an isolated island in Bretagne at the end of the 18th century, a female painter is obliged to paint a wedding portrait of a young woman.” Costumes by Dorothée Guiraud.


Outlander season 5 (Feb. 16 on Starz)

Season 5 gets caught up in the American Revolution. Costumes by Nina Ayres.


Emma (Feb. 21)

A big-screen adaptation of the Jane Austen novel. Costumes by Alexandra Byrne.


Beecham House (March on PBS)

A look at the lives of residents living in a Delhi mansion during the cusp of 19th century. Costumes by Joanna Eatwell.


The Personal History of David Copperfield (May 8)

Dickens adaptation with Tilda Swinton, Gwendoline Christie, Hugh Laurie, Peter Capaldi, and more. Costumes by Suzie Harman.


Mulan (March 27)

A live-action film based on Disney’s animated film. Costumes by Bina Daigeler.


World on Fire (April 5 on PBS)

WWII drama centered on the lives of ordinary people affected by the war. Costumes by Nic Ede.


No Release Date


Julian Fellowes is adapting his novel, set in 1840s London, about the mixing of the aristocracy with the emerging industrial nouveau riche.


Casanova, Last Love

Aging Casanova (blech) goes to London, falls in love. Costumes by Pierre-Jean Larroque.


Dracula (on Netflix)




A story of the scientific and romantic passions of Marie and Pierre Curie, and the reverberation of their discoveries throughout the 20th century. Starring Rosamund Pike; costumes by Consolata Boyle.


Robert the Bruce

The story of nobleman-turned-outlaw hero who was was crowned king of Scots in the 14th century. Costumes by Vicki Hales.


True History of the Kelly Gang

The story of Australian bush-ranger Ned Kelly and his gang as they flee from authorities during the 1870s. Costumes by Alice Babidge.


Year of the Rabbit

Detective Inspector Rabbit, oft inebriated, sleuths his way across Victorian London.



Which of these historical costume movies and TV shows are you most excited about?


About the author



Kendra has been a fixture in the online costuming world since the late 1990s. Her website, Démodé Couture, is one of the most well-known online resources for historical costumers. In the summer of 2014, she published a book on 18th-century wig and hair styling. Kendra is a librarian at a university, specializing in history and fashion. She’s also an academic, with several articles on fashion history published in research journals.

46 Responses

  1. mmcquown

    Mulan — “based on the Disney movie.” How about one based on the real historical character? I am so sick of Disney ripping off everything they can get their grubby hands on!

    • Jillian

      It’s also not based on the movie, it’s based on the origins of the legend, which is why there will be no appearances from Shang or Mushu.

      • Sam Marchiony

        Yeah, but they’re still clearly using Disney movie elements, based on the fact that they used Reflection in the trailer.

    • Maggie May

      China produced a live action Mulan: Rise of a Warrior in 2009. Available to rent or buy from Amazon….

  2. Susan Pola Staples

    Radioactive and The Aeronauts.
    Also can’t wait to snark Little Women. Best thing about it might be Meryl Streep’s line ‘I’m wealthy’ or its equivalent when asked by Jo why she doesn’t marry.

  3. Sam Marchiony

    I’m more annoyed that people think we need ANOTHER Christmas Carol. The Muppet Christmas Carol already exists, we don’t need anything else.

  4. Miss Teratophilia

    Spent the entirety of Sanditon screeching a constant rotation of “Hair pins! Cleavage!! WHAT?!?!”. That’s literally the entire plot, saved you a few hours.

      • Miss Teratophilia

        “Bonnet,” is the sad, tired sigh one gives in dejected recognition after the plot has come to fruition. “Bonnet,” we say dejectedly, watching the most un-Austen Austen story unfold. “Bonnet,” like a prayer for a loved long lost loved one, but no bonnet comes. There are no bonnets–the bonnets are dead; there is only…The Cleavage. The heaving, heaving cleavage.

  5. susan l eiffert

    Little Women and Emma look god-awful and anachronistic, hitting the viewer over the head with headstrong women looking to LIVE LIFE ON THEIR TERMS etc etc. Lousy acting by those in the trailer including Streep.
    Inappropriate soundtracks. And NO, a millionth remake of either unnecessary.
    Ditto Doolittle for goodness sakes!

    • Colleen

      I finally watched the trailer for Little Women last night after protesting it for months, and I felt VALIDATED in refusing to watch it initially. Who the heck thought the book was like that? Why are the costumes and hairstyles wrong? Meg wore her hair up and I am fuming again.

    • Nzie

      yes, when the full trailer came out it was disappointing. it’s a shame because I think so many involved in the production are very talented, but if you’re just going to read into things… And if the lesson is, as I suspect, make your own choices and be ok with women who make different ones, I think Mona Lisa Smile probably did that better.

  6. Roxana

    Dolittle as usual bears no resemblance to the books, but I just love Robert Downey! I see Dab Dab and Polynesia but where the heck did the polar bear and gorilla come from??

  7. Lynne Connolly

    Don’t get your hopes up for Sanditon or Beecham House. Just saying. The critics and audience both savaged them.
    Looking forward to a new version of Christmas Carol because of the writers. There doesn’t have to be Only One, surely. And David Copperfield? Armando Ianucci. The Death of Stalin was one of my fave films of a couple of years ago.
    No more Austen. Please.

  8. Anna R

    Is it me, or is the music in the David Copperfield trailer taken DIRECTLY from Desperate Romantics? Adding to that with the editing and the humor I got a feeling someone on the production team REALLY liked Desperate Romantics :D

    • Lynne Connolly

      Daniel Pemberton might have something to say about that. The composer for the music for David Copperfield worked with Iannucci on his previous film, The Death Of Stalin.

  9. Victoria Hannah

    Outlander of course always has my heart. But the most anticipated period piece I’m looking forward to in 2020 is still being filmed (so no trailer yet) but the Second Season of A Discovery of Witches, which partially takes place in parts of Early Modern Europe (Elizabeth’s England–both urban London and rural Woodstock–a French Chateau in the Auvergne, and Prague). Yes some of the men’s outfits have a touch too much leather in them, and yes there’s backlacing on a female character (granted the actress is nursing so she has to get in and out of it really fast). But the book series upon which the tv show is based is written by a historian of that period. So I can’t wait to see what details they get just right. (I am a fan of the books and read them multiple times a year)

    • Kaite Fink

      Also looking forward to the next season of Discovery. I haven’t seen a date yet though, have you? The casting has been so great and i can’t wait to see how the historical bits go!

      • Victoria Hannah

        I belong to a (book and tv series) fan group, The All Souls Discussion Group, on Facebook (which is Admin’ed by Deborah Harkness herself). She hasn’t said anything concrete as they’re still filming (they’ve taken some time off for the holidays then in the new year it’s back to filming for 3 more weeks, then there’s the process of editing). My Mom (who’s also a fan) and I have sort of figured that it may be sometime in the summer at the very earliest. (But that’s wholly our conjecturing.)

  10. Penny H

    Two of the first three trailers I watched felt obliged to include the word “modern”. Grrrr…

  11. Gwyn Aubrey

    Actually saw “The Aeronauts” as it was playing for a week in Chicago in 70 mm at the Music Box Theater. Some nice costuming, lots of peril, fairly accurate period ballooning attire, and one outstanding “Behold My Field” dress! (as in Behold my field of *** and see it is barren).

  12. Kaite Fink

    Ugh, the Sanditon hairpin shortage… I wanted to enjoy it, but I don’t know if I can now that I’ve seen the trailer. Looking forward to Portrait of a Lady on Fire, Radioactive and Belgravia. Especially Radioactive as I’m a science nerd. Hopefully they will give her story the respect it deserves.

  13. Damnitz

    Beecham House is looking very odd. Somebody had said them, that such beards were in fashion during the 1790s? The beards spoil all pictures.
    The new film about Casanova is looking very dull. No idea why he is’nt wearing a Whig and why they didn’t gave the actors clothes of the period, when he was actualy old. Casanova always had his fascination for the producers of TV-movies and Cinema, but not often was represented in an interesting way. Why not focussing on his succesfull brother the painter?

  14. Shashwat

    Beecham house looks irritating,if I act extremely generous.The protagonist with his disheveled biker boy look certainly doesn’t fit my idea of 18th century men.And the costumes for Indian characters–where is all the wonderful muslin that took Europe by storm?It is fine that the designer opted for silks,but nobody wore those on a daily basis as the show suggests.Printed cotton trousers were the rage,and ladies covered themselves in yards of finest muslin dupattas.The women,young and old,are dressed in generic lehengas when they should be wearing really wide farshi pyjama pants for the skirty effect.And not a single women is wearing a peshwaj over their cholis;imagine a woman in the 18th century forgetting to wear her francaise robe over her stomacher.
    The depiction of woman makes it look like the director was fully intent on degrading women to concubines and romanticizing colonialism.That one shot with the nautch girls in the king’s court,18-19th century tawaifs(indian courtesans,more like geishas of Japan)were respected and powerful enough they could drain the pockets of nawabs empty with their hefty fees for a single poetic gathering.And here we see them referenced as some available prostitutes.This hurts when you realize the director should have known about his own country.

  15. Nzie

    Not many of these are striking me. I’m hoping to see 1917, but anyone looking forward to Firth or Cumberbatch, I’m pretty sure they’re not really the stars—it pretty much follows two young soldiers trying to get a message to a unit that’s walking into an ambush. The big names seem to be officers who aren’t the main focus. I’m hoping that Radioactive is good, but the way she talks about science in the trailer strikes me as bizarre. Crossing fingers it’s good.

    I had been hopeful about The Aeronauts but when I looked it up it seems like it’s heavily fictionalized. They stuck in an invented female character inspired by a real woman, aeronaut Sophie Blanchard, to make the flight more interesting, and left out a pioneering pilot. I think it sounds like they should’ve abandoned this balloon flight and instead told Sophie’s story, rather than invent a random woman and erase someone else’s contributions.

    What the heck is with Casanova?? And open carriage half or perhaps mostly naked fondling, seriously?

  16. Valéria Fernandes Da Silva

    Meryl Streep is not Marmee in this movie. She’s Aunt Mach.