Historical Costume Movie/TV Trailers: Happy Early Festivus!


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.


Kindred (Dec. 13 on Hulu)

TV adaption of Octavia E. Butler’s novel where a modern Black woman is pulled back and forth in time to a 19th-c. plantation. Costumes by Nicky Smith & Jaclyn Banner.


Babylon (Dec. 23)

Set in 1920s Hollywood with Margot Robbie and Brad Pitt. Costumes by Mary Zophres.


Corsage (Dec. 23)

“As her 40th birthday approaches, beautiful Empress Elisabeth of Austria is thrown into turmoil as she anticipates being considered an old woman.” Costumes by Monika Buttinger.


Couleurs de l’Incendie (released in 2022 in France, will it get a U.S. release?)

“Paris, 1927. After the death of her father, Madeleine Péricourt should have inherited his financial empire but she fell prey to a conspiracy leading her to ruin. Now she will have her vengeance.” Costumes by Pierre-Jean Larroque.


The Confessions of Frannie Langton (released in December in the U.K., will it get a U.S. release?)

Set in Georgian London, this miniseries tells of a woman’s journey from a Jamaican plantation to the grand Mayfair mansion. Costumes by Nigel Egerton.


The King’s Favorite aka Diane de Poitiers (released in October in France, will it get a U.S. release?)

Isabelle Adjani stars as Diane de Poitiers; Gerard Depardieu is Nostradamus. Costumes by Cyril Fontaine.


The Pale Blue Eye (Jan. 6, 2023, on Netflix)

Gothic thriller that revolves around Edgar Allan Poe & a series of fictional murders in 1830. Costumes by Kasia Walicka-Maimone.


Emily (Feb. 17, 2023)

Biopic of Emily Brontë. Costumes by Michael O’Connor.


Chevalier (April 7, 2023)

Movie about the Chevalier de Saint-Georges, the son of an African slave who rose to great heights in Marie-Antoinette’s court as a violinist and champion fencer. Costumes by Oliver Garcia.


Marie Antoinette (released in France in October and the U.K. in December; coming to PBS in 2023)

TV series produced in France & co-written by one of the screenwriters of The Favourite. Costumes by Marie Frémont.


The Three Musketeers (coming in April 2023 to France, will it get a U.S. release?)

The story of one of the Three Musketeers. Costumes by Thierry Delettre. Apparently there will be two films, shot back-to-back, one focusing on D’Artagnan (this one?) and one on Milady.


Glow and Darkness (allegedly released in 2020 or 2021 in the U.S., but no one has ever found a way to watch it, will it ever get an actual U.S. release?)

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


Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story (no release date yet; will air on Netflix)

Bridgerton prequel about Queen Charlotte‘s arrival to England. Costumes by Lyn Paolo.



Which of these historical costume films and 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.

27 Responses

    • Moriah

      The hair and makeup make her look so modern, which is a shame because the dress looks pretty good!

    • Gray

      fortunately, the symbol of free flowing hair seems very limited. In most of the trailer hair up and wonderfully derpy bonnets are everywhere. The costumes look great!

  1. Nico

    Ha ha ha, glow and darkness trailer looks as cheap as we could expect! …that music, the fake GoT vibe, denise richards curtseying like a renfaire waitress!
    I do hope they release it one day…

    • florenceandtheai

      That is one I’d admittedly like to see. Not to hate watch, but to see if the actors actually had as much fun as it looks like they did, because there’s not feasible way to take it seriously. Just can’t be done.

    • Gray

      The 3 Musketeers trailer has dreadful cliche music too. And it looks way too dirty and serious. Too much leather. And two films covering the story… what a novel idea!

    • Aleko

      They were clearly basing Saladin on Khal Drogo!

      But what was weirdest of all to me was the orchestra costumed for the Spanish Golden Age, more or less, fiddling away each with their score open on their own modern music stand! Did nobody at all notice how dumb that looked? It’s not even as though the orchestra needed their scores so they could play well: the music track was going to be added in post-production anyway.
      And then there were the Czech folk dancers . . . .

  2. florenceandtheai

    Kendra, which series is the header image from? I guessed Marie Antoinette based on the reddish hair, but 18th-century still isn’t my strong point and I thought that looked too early? It’s a lovely image, which is why I’m asking. Thanks.

    • hsc

      That’s Marie Antoinette, according to the tag on the photo– but my question is: she had a TRAMPOLINE?

      • Brandy Loutherback

        Seems to be referencing The Swing painting by Jean-Honoré Fragonard. WTF does it have to do with Marie Antionette???

        • hsc

          I can definitely see the general similarity to the pose and skirts in the Fragonard painting– but still, I’d think they’d actually include a swing if that’s what they were going for.
          She’s clearly up in the air, backed only by clouds in this shot, and looking like she’s either falling from the sky or being tossed up and coming down again.
          Maybe a dream sequence symbolizing “rise and fall” or somesuch? And that’s assuming this is actually in the series somewhere, and not just an “artsy” promo photo shoot.
          It is a really pretty shot, though.

  3. Coco

    If anyone’s curious, I watched the French dubbed first episode of ‘Marie Antoinette’ on the Canal+ website a couple months ago.

    • hsc

      THIS is the way I wish they’d approach inclusion and representation– give us authentic stories of actual people who are unjustly obscure, rather than race-shifting historic figures or inventing fictional characters.

      If they gave it a chance, they’d find the truth is usually much more compelling than creating fictional “history.”

  4. hsc

    From that trailer, BABYLON looks like a huge hot mess.

    Wikipedia says it’s supposed to be about the period when sound took over and silent films were suddenly obsolete, and once-powerful people had their careers destroyed while others became overnight sensations. (Given glimpses of posters in the trailer, it goes at least as far as 1932 or so.)

    Wiki says the Brad Pitt character is based on John Gilbert, and from the snippets in the preview, Margot Robbie’s apparently referencing Clara Bow. And according to the cast list, there are depictions of actual silent stars– like Colleen Moore and Marion Davies– in the mix as well.

    But damn, this looks like a fatally half-assed attempt at “period” on par with MARY, QUEEN OF SCOTS (2018) or bad ’80s mini-series.

    Yeah, you can spot a few not-bad attempts at period costumes, but hair and makeup completely undermine it– even if Robbie is supposed to be a hell-raising “wild child”– and there’s clearly the usual demand to make everything “relatable” controlling everything, so why even bother?

    • M.E. Lawrence

      That just about sums up my impression. (One is conservative about Emily B.) Off-topic: I recently saw Wise Children’s musical production of “Wuthering Heights” (sample song title: “I Am the Moor”), and thought it would make a nice Christmas pantomime. Nice, raggedy, steampunkish costuming with some bizarre wigs.

  5. Rori

    Looking forward to seeing Corsage. Heard it’s quite inaccurate, but being open mind to see the intends and executions they did. I’m always a sucker for anything Sissi related, and so many works of her came out (including an upcoming movie Sisi & I).

    I saw few snips of Babylon and I was pretty bewildered by the choices being made to depict the 1920s. Like from the costumes to the movie production don’t even look 1920s?

    • M.E. Lawrence

      I saw “Corsage” last night at one of our few remaining first-run theatres. I could have done without the occasional relatably-quirky gesture, but was more impressed than I had expected: Vicki Krieps has an Huppert air about her–in a good way!–and embodied Elisabeth well, physically and emotionally, including her implacable restlessness. Bloody gorgeous costumes; I can’t wait for the head Frockers to do an analysis. Hair seemed spot-on as well, and very nice no-make-up make-up on Krieps. Can anyone tell me whether Franz Joseph really wore paste-on whiskers? I’d also be curious to know what Austrian viewers made of it.

  6. Julia R

    Oh my god, the everything in the Diane de Poitiers one… I saw Isabella Adjani and got so excited, and then I watched the trailer and grimaced.

  7. Adele

    I’ll look out for Couleurs de l’incendie at my local cinema.

    The Glow and Darkness trailer reminds me sooo much of those 1960s historical ‘epics’ albeit with better SF. It’s so cheesy, obvious, glorifying war, men and violence and plopping a couple of token women on the sideline. If I didn’t know better I’d think it was a parody.


Feel the love

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.