Historical Costume Movie/TV Trailers: Endless Pandemic Edition


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!  Editor’s note: Due to the ongoing pandemic, some theatrical releases are being rescheduled and some theater chains are temporarily closed, so please be patient as we update our Upcoming Movies page. Note that all dates for the U.S.


The Last Duel (Oct. 15)

King Charles VI declares that Knight Jean de Carrouges settle his dispute with his squire by challenging him to a duel. With Adam Driver, Matt Damon, Jodie Cormer, and Matt Damon’s mullet. Costumes by Janty Yates.


The French Dispatch (Oct. 22)

A Wes Anderson film about an American newspaper in a fictional French city set during the 1960s-ish. Costumes by Milena Canonero.


The Electrical Life of Louis Wain (Nov. 5 on Amazon)

Biopic of an English artist who rose to prominence at the end of the 19th century. Starring Benedict Cumberbatch & Claire Foy. Costumes by Michael O’Connor.


Passing (Nov. 10 on Netflix)

Mixed-race childhood friends reunite in adulthood and become involved with one another’s lives. Costumes by Marci Rodgers.


The Great season 2 (Nov. 19 on Hulu)

Season 2 of this comedic look at Catherine the Great adds Gillian Anderson to the cast. Costumes by Sharon Long.


Mothering Sunday (Nov. 19)

A maid living in post-World War I England secretly plans to meet with the man she loves before he leaves to marry another woman. Costumes by Sandy Powell.


Benedetta (Dec. 3)

A 17th-century nun in Italy suffers from disturbing religious and erotic visions. She is assisted by a companion, and the relationship between the two women develops into a romantic love affair. Costumes by Pierre-Jean Larroque.


West Side Story (Dec. 10)

Remake of the 1950s musical. Costumes by Paul Tazewell.


The King’s Man (Dec. 22)

Ralph Fiennes in an Edwardian secret service/Marvel movie. Costumes by Michele Clapton. Click through to YouTube to watch!


The Tragedy of Macbeth (Dec. 25)

Denzel Washington & Frances McDormand star in this Shakespeare remake. Costumes by Mary Zophres.


Cyrano (Dec. 31)

A musical based on the life of Cyrano de Bergerac starring Peter Dinklage. Costumes by Massimo Cantini Parrini.


All Creatures Great & Small season 2 (Jan. 9 on PBS)

Season 2 of the series about a 1930s Yorkshire vet. Costumes by Ros Little.


Death on the Nile (Feb. 11)

Kenneth Branagh‘s version of the Agatha Christie mystery. Costumes by Paco Delgado.



No U.S. Release Date Yet

Becoming Elizabeth

Miniseries about the early years of Queen Elizabeth I. Costumes by Bartholomew Cariss.


Anne Boleyn

Three-part miniseries about the final months of Boleyn‘s life. Costumes by Lynsey Moore.



Eiffel’s search for inspiration as he comes under pressure to design something spectacular for the 1889 Paris World Fair. Costumes by Thierry Delettre.


Glow and Darkness

Series about the intertwined stories of Saladin, Emperor Barbarossa, Richard the Lionheart, Philip Augustus, Francis of Assisi, & Eleanor of Aquitaine.



Miniseries about Leonardo da Vinci starring Aidan Turner. Costumes by Alessandro Lai.


Lost Illusions

An adaptation of Honoré de Balzac’s novel Les illusions perdues starring Gerard Depardieu. Costumes by Pierre-Jean Larroque.


Margrete: Queen of the North

Biopic of Margaret I of Denmark in the 1400s. Costumes by Manon Rasmussen.


The Pact

About the relationship between Karen Blixen (author of Out of Africa) & poet Thorkild Bjørnvig in the 1940s. Costumes by Anne-Dorthe Eskildsen.


Paris Police 1900

Paris, France, 1899. The corpse of an unknown woman is found in the river Seine. The investigation will push a young ambitious inspector to discover a heavy state secret. Costumes by Anaïs Romand.


To Olivia

The story of the tumultuous marriage between actress Patricia Neal and renowned writer Roald Dahl in the 1960s. Costumes by Suzie Harman.



Which of these films or TV series 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.

22 Responses

  1. Jillian

    I just started watching The Great and I LOVE IT! It’s fun, and silly, and doesn’t take itself too seriously. It’s exactly what I need right now.

  2. Saraquill

    Of the ones listed, Cyrano. The one I’m most looking forward to though, is Last Night in Soho.

  3. Michael McQuown

    Glow and Darkness seems to have the best chance for something new or less well-known.

  4. Caroline Macafee

    Dinklage as Cyrano. I think the film makers have understood the story, and the change of physical characteristic won’t be detrimental. I haven’t read the original play, so my idea of it is based on the 1950 film with José Ferrer, but I’m a bit disappointed that they’ve made Dinklage’s Cyrano so scruffy – he should have panache and swagger despite being hard up. But I’ll forgive a lot to see this really fine actor in this classic part.

  5. Popka Superstar

    Literally none of these appeal to me, with very mild exceptions for Benedetta and the Dinklage Cyrano. And if that Da Vinci thing has him being gay I’ll watch that, but it probably won’t.

  6. Yanina

    Glow and Darkness seems interesting just for the fresh idea (I do not remember any TV series about crusades), but costumes look… strange? Also, IS this Saladin cosplaying Rasputin?

    • Sarah Jones

      I was wondering the same thing about Rasputin. Those costumes look… colorful. Very ren faire does Victorian Medieval. Maybe a little uncomfortable, but eh. On the Rasputin thought, can we not get Christian Bale to play a version now? He seems to be the perfect age right now and I can never not see Rasputin as Batman.

  7. Kat

    I saw the trailer for the Last Duel in theatres with my best friend and the two of us were howling at how out of place Ben and Matt’s Bawstan accents sound. Not to mention Matt’s historical mullet and soul patch look (or Ben’s bleach blonde pudding bowl cut). I’m excited for the Kings Man though, even though I expect the historical accuracy of it to be pricely nil.

  8. Al Don

    I’m looking forward to The French Dispatch, Passing, The Tragedy of Macbeth, and Cyrano. I’m curious why they set Cyrano when they did; it looks 18th century (late 17th century at best) – why not the actual time period? The 1630’s were visually sumptuous.

    The costumes in The Tragedy of Macbeth look utter shite, but the cast, director, and cinematography? Count me in.

    Glow and Darkness couldn’t look more low budget if it tried. Like an SNL parody of Kingdom of Heaven.

    Very disappointed in the way The Last Duel is shaping up.

  9. Addie

    It’s about time Nella Larsen’s “Passing” got a screen adaptation. I hope they keep the queer subtext intact.
    I am interested in Margaret I of Denmark and… cautious about the West Side Story remake. They have bright colors and a lot of reference shots to the original film (similar costumes, really get that mid-century color scheme, I think I spotted Rita Moreno in there… maybe as this version’s Doc?) but I have been astoundingly disappointed with most live-action film musical adaptations recently because they tend not to make the best use of the mediums (being larger than life but also making use of cinematic editing, which right now skews hyper-realistic). West Side Story is also the most difficult musical as a full package I can think of (and I was raised in musical theater, my dad conducted a full orchestra pit for West Side Story and it was the hardest thing he’s ever done professionally). Dancing and music especially. It’s a dance-centric show, and the music for vocals and instrumental both are absurdly difficult, making use of the experimental styles of the 50’s and 60’s blended with the post-WWII Latin wave… endlessly shifting time signatures and chromatics. Done well, it’s breathtaking. Done poorly and it’s just embarrassing.
    And that’s not even touching on how well/not well this story holds up to time. The new cast is probably actually Puerto Rican, which, yay, but they also seem suspiciously light overall… which would’ve been a thing in how race worked in the 50s-60s since in the US up until the 50s-60s Hispanic people were legally counted as white in the census bc the reasoning went Hispanic=Spanish=Spain=Europe, regardless of if you were, say, mestizo… but that reasoning only counted if you were light-skinned. And that affected how segregation worked, though it varied a lot by population and location- plenty of whites-only schools refused Latino kids who would’ve legally counted as white, for example. (A lot of the traction for the Chicano movement was for equal schooling, as much as it was for agricultural laborers’ rights, though I don’t know as much about the equivalent movements for Puerto Rican civil rights, though it should be noted that if all the Sharks are Puerto Rican, they’re US citizens and would’ve been fleeing the economic instability caused by Operation Bootstrap.) I’m just saying after In The Heights faced similar criticism for its Dominican characters, it’s noticeable.

    • Trystan L. Bass

      There’s an excellent bio on Rita Moreno on PBS that just came out where she talks about West Side Story, both the story’s issues & the production itself. And yes, she has a small role in the new one.

    • The Scrivener

      I recently listened to a Fresh Air interview with Rita Moreno where she says that in the 50s and 60s, she was considered “too white” to be Boricua (even though she’s the only actual Latina in the film!), and they actually darkened her skin for the role.

    • Gray

      I wonder how the West Side Story will do without Jerome Robbins’ choreography? I mean, can you beat his version of “Cool”?

  10. Elizabeth Kerri Mahon

    I saw Passing at the New York Film Festival and yes, they do keep the queer subtext intact. I have mixed feelings about Edge of Darkness, mainly because I’m not a Denise Richards fan.

  11. Frannie Germeshausen

    Be that as it may, I’m not sure we really needed another Death on the Nile after the Suchet version. Biased, because I have been on the SS Sudan.

    • MsNomi

      After Suchet’s excellent renditions, we do not EVER need another Poirot until the end of time. I liked most of Branagh’s work right up until he thought he could pull off Poirot. Uh, no.

  12. SarahV

    Eiffel has Emma Mackay in it! She’s the second best thing about Netflix’s Sex Education as Maeve the wise, brilliant yet wounded Goth chick from the wrong side of the tracks (Gillian Anderson as Jean is THE best thing).

  13. Andi

    Glow and Darkness sounded cool but the trailer… nopenopenopenope. But there’s a chance it could cross into the ‘so bad it’s entertaining’ category – you get Saladin looking like he’s entered a Khal Drogo contest, then it gets to DENISE RICHARDS in extremely modern makeup and those oh-so-beachy waves… hilarious.


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