Historical Costume Movie/TV Trailers: June 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.


Becoming Elizabeth (June 12 on Starz)

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


Mr. Malcolm’s List (July 1)

A young woman courts a mysterious wealthy suitor in 19th-century England. No costume designer listed yet on IMDB!


Mrs Harris Goes to Paris (July 15)

A 1950s cleaning lady falls in love with a couture Dior dress. Costumes by Jenny Beavan.


A League of Their Own (Aug. 12 on Amazon Prime)

Series about about the WWII All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. Costumes by Trayce Gigi Field. This is just a teaser trailer:


Leonardo (Aug. 16 on The CW)

Leonardo da Vinci miniseries starring Aidan Turner. Costumes by Alessandro Lai.

Medieval (Sept. 9)

14th-century Czech icon and warlord Jan Zizka defeats armies of the Teutonic Order and the Holy Roman Empire. Costumes by Katerina Mirová.


Catherine, Called Birdy (Sept. 23 on Amazon)

Movie about a 14-year-old girl in medieval England, based on a Young Adult novel by Karen Cushman. No costume designer listed yet on IMDB. This is a “first look” clip:


Miss Scarlet & The Duke season 2 (Oct. 16 on PBS)

Eliza Scarlet joins forces with a Scotland Yard Inspector to solve crime in 19th-century London. Costumes by Momirka Bailovic.



No Release Date


A German film about the beginning-to-age Empress Elisabeth of Austria. Costumes by Monika Buttinger.


Interview with the Vampire (AMC)

TV series inspired by the Anne Rice book & set in the 1920s. Costumes by Carol Cutshall.


The Railway Children Return

A group of children are evacuated to a Yorkshire village during WWII. Costumes by Dinah Collin.



Which of these upcoming frock flicks has you most excited?


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.

49 Responses

  1. Joni

    Catherine, Called Birdy is one of my favorite books of all time, so I fully expect to be disappointed.

    • Saraquill

      I’m cautiously optimistic, but I haven’t seen the trailer yet.

    • florenceandtheai

      The costumes looked, not awful. Like, I didn’t see any glaring lacing where it doesn’t belong, princess seams, and there were layers(!). There weren’t really any adult women shown, but I’ll give some allowance for Birdy with her hair down. I see the little Lady of Bear Island, I say “yay!” Andrew Scott as Sir Rollo (?, wasn’t clear) struck me as a little off, but I’ll go with it. And inside the manor was clean, and richly furnished. It wasn’t Ye Oldey Tymey Filthy. I loved the book growing up.

      • Al Don

        Respectfully I don’t agree. It does avoid certain clichés, but like a lot of Medieval films it seems to have no clue what specific period it’s set it.

        The interiors you refer to certainly don’t look right. They look downright Jacobean, which is centuries off. It certainly doesn’t look like earlier Gothic interiors, which at this point would be replacing Norman architecture.

        The clothes should look closer to say… the Smithfield Decretals or the Codex Manesse. The lengths of the clothing seem alright but not the pattern or colors.

        Can’t say I expected much, though.

    • M.E. Lawrence

      Fine writer, Cushman; I was so proud to learn that my 8-year-old grandgirl just devoured “The Midwife’s Apprentice.” The hair in “Catherine” looks worrisome, though. I’d also like to see “Corsage” and “Mrs. Harris.” (Maybe O.T., but I’ve been reading about Dior’s Bar Suit in a new book by Kimberly Chrisman-Campbell, “Skirts: Fashioning Modern Femininity in the Twentieth Century.”)

  2. Boxermom

    We don’t need another Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris when we already have the Angela Lansbury version (smh).

    • MoHub

      Wasn’t the original title “Mrs. ‘arris”? If I’m right, adding the “H” is enough to give me pause.

    • Linda Merrill

      The new version, Mrs. Harris, has been out for a while, I watched it at least a couple of months ago. Very good, but then I hadn’t seen the original to go in with a jaded eye. But I do recommend it.

  3. Roxana

    Elizabeth looks awful. The dramatic scenes in the trailer make it clear that the plot is some fantasy of the writers’ unconnected to the actual history.
    Henry’s death did make life much more dangerous for his children.
    Mary recieved a generous ingerirance and set up as an independent magnant but her religious beliefs put her at odds with the new government and the Spanish ambassadors tried to use her against her brother, which she doesn’t seem to have realized.
    Edward was a cold blooded, iron willed nine year old who succeeded in destroying the uncles who tried to use him and obtaining a minister willing to support and advance his, Edward’s, agenda.
    Elizabeth herself was victimized sexually and politically by Thomas Seymour but came of age and recieved her own inheritance, mended fences with her brother and enjoyed his favor. Her real danger came with the accession of her elder sister. The Spanish wanted Elizabeth dead or at best married out of the realm and Mary was under their thumb.
    Sounds like a good movie to me. But not good enough for this movie.

    • Luanna

      As someone who’s been following news about the show for a while, I’m actually overall impressed with how much they seem to be getting right, especially compared to recent Philippa Gregory-based Tudor series which were wildly inaccurate. By comparison, this one doesn’t seem to be going too far outside the bounds of what actually happened.

      A lot of what you mention in your post is included in the show, including the political drama between the Seymour brothers (and later John Dudley), the religious conflict between Edward and Mary, and Elizabeth’s victimization by Thomas Seymour (which cast interviews have made clear they plan to portray as predatory). Obviously the show isn’t out yet so I can’t give a final verdict on how accurate it is, and there are some points I’m worried about, but just going off the released trailers and clips and interviews with the cast, I’m very pleasantly surprised so far. Even the costumes are far more accurate than anything we’ve seen recently!

      (Now, the Leonardo series from what I’ve seen seems to be actually guilty of taking a fascinating person’s life and ignoring 99% of it in favor of a totally made-up story.)

      • Roxana

        I hope you’re right about Elizabeth but the released scenes suggest a romantic rather than predatory relationship between Elizabeth and Thomas Seymour, and even Elizabeth as the aggressor.

        • Roxana

          And all that loose flowing hair!!!
          Various marriages were discussed for Elizabeth by Edward’s Council but none of the proposals got far enough to actually worry her. It wasn’t until Mary’s reign she had reason to fear being forced into a marriage.
          Philip of Spain wanted Elizabeth to marry his cousin and client prince Philip Emmanuel of Savoy. To be fair the match had certain advantages, as he was a prince without a realm and would have been free to live in England.
          Luckily for Elizabeth Mary opposed the marriage because she could see very well Philip was trying to secure control of the next queen and Mary wasn’t prepared to accept Elizabeth as her heir.

        • Roxana

          According to YouTube reviews my worst fears are validated, Seymour’s abuse is being depicted as welcome and romantic.

  4. Kat

    I have too much of a nostalgia love for the original A League of Their Own (even though I know it’s mostly fictionalized) to get behind the miniseries. I’m also a bit confused by the trailer because the AAGPBL followed the same “colour barrier” that the men’s league did, meaning that no African-American women were ever scouted or played for any of the teams. Unless the woman featured in the trailer is meant to be Mamie “Peanut” Johnson, Toni Stone, or Connie Morgan, who all played alongside men in the de facto African-American baseball league (but were never part of the AAGPBL)?

    • MJ

      I can’t wait for Mr. Malcolm’s List!

      Leonardo is probably going to be CW-awful, but Frank Spotnitz’ involvement intrigues me. Also Freddie Highmore with facial hair is interesting.

      Thanks for this round-up! So many I didn’t realize were on the horizon.

      • MJ

        And I just realized my comment ended up in a reply thread by accident. Fun times.

        But since it’s here – the A League of Their Own series looks very interesting to me. As a fan of the AAGPBL I’m sad that we don’t have more baseball movies about women players – anything to tell the story – but I’m also sad that we have to resort to fiction when the real stories are compelling in their own right.

        • Kat

          I think that’s where I ended up; there’s such a big history of the players in (and even the creation of) the AAGPBL, but it looks as though all the characters in the show are fictional because the showrunners want to “evoke the spirit of the classic film while widening the lens to explore race and sexuality.” Which to me then begs the question of why even use the AAGPBL, instead of a fictional league if (at least from the trailer), it appears as though the show is ignoring the fact that the real AAGPBL was segregated. Having now read into Mamie Johnson more, I would much rather see a miniseries about her.

          • florenceandtheai

            Agreed, on all counts. Mamie Johnson was a tough lady, and surely worth an miniseries of her own.

    • Kaite Fink

      League is still one of my all time favorite movies, so I don’t know how this will go. And I agree with you about how the trailer is confusing and all that. Plus I feel like the scenes in it were picked as if the creator knew it would be viewed by fans of the original. I may try to watch it, just to see, but I’m not planning on being surprised when it isn’t awesome. I hope they don’t ruin this.

    • Jamie Jo LaMoreaux

      yes that confused me too. they seem to over look the segregation, the movie addresses this very well. but you know Hollywood, ignore the times to make a PC version of history!

  5. Gray

    Hey… I worked on the film “Interview With the Vampire”.
    How is it moved to just the 20s? It’s in 3 or 4 different periods.

    • Lily Lotus Rose

      Oh, Gray… just don’t even bother. The YouTuber called Maven of the Eventide has a whole video called on the long, sad, sordid history of how this TV show came to be. Basically, this show is Interview with the Vampire in name only. I can’t even begin to describe the butchering of the premise.

  6. Michael McQuown

    Medieval. Among other things, it seems to be a subject not exposed much over here. One dose of Ann Rice is more than enough. The best thine about the original movie was Kirsten Dunst. As for the books, I thought Interview was close to brilliant, Lestat was a bit overdone, and Queen was about 200 pages too long and the climactic scene was thrown away.

  7. LadySlippers

    Miss Scarlet & The Duke was so, so, so awful, I cannot (but I can) believe they would torture us with another…… May God/Goddess/Universe have mercy on us.

    • SarahV

      Yes, but there was the unbelievable hotness that was William, that hunky Scotland Yard inspector who looks to be 100% the genetic clone of Sean Connery at his peak of attractiveness.

  8. Mona Bayard

    Thank Heaven for all these remakes, otherwise we might have to endure some fresh material.

  9. Cláudio Alves

    I’m beyond excited for CORSAGE. The reviews out of Cannes were excellent, both for the overall film and Krieps’ performance. Moreover, the trailer looks promisingly off-beat in its approach to the dreaded biopic model.

    • Al Don

      Vicky Krieps is a gem on screen, so that alone is enough to recommend it to me.

    • Roxana

      Corsage certainly doesn’t look like it’s pulling any punches about how mentally ill and dysfunctional Sisi was.

  10. florenceandtheai

    I’m cackling about Medieval’s title. Like, why not call a movie “Yangtze Delta, 4,000 BCE” and release it? I’d be more interested. Just, why?

    • Aleko

      Same here. I mean, okay, we know that Jan Zizka’s name conveys absolutely zilch to pretty much anyone with no Czech background, and ‘the Hussites’ not much more unless you’re into wars of religion. But ‘Medieval’? Could they really think of nothing better? Why not, say, “The One-Eyed Knight’? I don’t say it’s great, but it does at least tell you something about the subject.

      • Roxana

        There must be tons of fascinating central and eastern European history we westerners know nothing about.

  11. Adele

    Mrs Harris looks fun, rather Miss Pettigrewesque and I didn’t even know there was an original, and Mr Malcom appears a nice bit of escapism in a Bridgerton vein ie much more scheming than would probably have taken place but entertaining nonetheless.
    The Railway Children annoyingly seems to suggest that 3 children evacuated from maybe Leeds, definitely Yorkshire by their accents, have landed in another part of Yorkshire, where mysteriously all the residents have lovely RP pronunciation. There will possibly be a random nazi. Never mind, it’s just for kids.

    • florenceandtheai

      (Yes, I know he’s from Sheffield, not Leeds.) They pulled a reverse Sean Bean!

    • Jamie Jo LaMoreaux

      at least Jennie Agutter is still playing Bobbie. she’s been in every remake. I don’t hold out much hope for this version. it’s gone from the Edwardian era to the 1930-40’s. sigh.

  12. Al Don

    Wow the armour and costumes in Medieval look like absolute shite. That’s not even close to early 15th century armour. I’ve long held the opinion that Ben Foster is one of the more underrated character actors working today, but odd choice for Jan Žižka.

    The movie Krzyżacy (Knights of the Teutonic Order) (1960), which is on a similar subject and includes Jan Žižka as a major character, nailed the armour of the time – even if using inauthentic materials. If a 1960 movie did it that well, no excuses for today.

    (On the subject of Jan Žižka, I’d much rather see an adaptation of David B.’s awesome The Armed Garden, in which Jan Žižka’s skin is used to make a drum that becomes possessed by his spirit.)

    Credit where it’s due: Medieval has a hell of an original title. Looking forward to Early Middle Ages or Arguably Late Antiquity starring Gary Busey as King Clovis.

    • Aleko

      It’s utterly bizarre that a Czech production of a Czech medieval subject should have inaccurate costumes and armour, because Czechia is an absolute hotbed of high-quality medieval reenactment (at this year’s Battle of Grunwald they expect to have 5,000 fighters on the field!) and therefore scads of good small businesses making equipment for it. There’s no excuse for getting it wrong, because they could have virtually costumed the movie off the peg. (And if they felt that was expensive, they could have sold them second-hand at the next big reenactment and got half their money back.)

      BTW, I hope any medieval fans on here know these wonderful Prague weavers of posh medieval and Renaissance fabrics – who have very recently started a line of 19th-century fabrics, too:

    • Roxana

      I snicker.
      Given the history of the Merovingian dynasty such a show would make GOT look downright tame.

  13. Eleri

    Did… did they gank the line about pain and suffering turning into beauty from the Vincent episode of Dr Who?!

  14. Lily Lotus Rose

    I’m the most excited by Mrs Harris Goes to Paris. As someone else said, it gives Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day vibes. I’d add that it also gives House of Elliott vibes. I didn’t knwo that there was an original movie starring Angela Lansbury and a book, but now I’m intrigued by all three iterations of this story, based on this trailer alone. Catherine Called Birdy looks good, too. I’ve not read the book, but I’ve read similar books in the plucky girls in the past genre, and I usually liked them. This movie looks sweet. I enjoyed season 1 of Miss Scarlett and The Duke, so I definitely plan to tune into season 2. Mr. Malcolm’s List seems totally unnecessary. Just watch Dangerous Liaisons instead.

    • Jamie Jo LaMoreaux

      The version Mrs. ‘Arris goes to Paris is VERY tight to the book. it’s actually very excellent if you can find a copy that isn’t hideously expensive. it’s worth watching. it has Diana Rigg, Omar Shariff, Angela Landsbury and Jason Carter in it.

      • Karen K.

        I had no idea that the Mrs. ‘Arris books were so expensive! I have a hardcover copy I must have picked up at a library sale. I was actually going to donate it until I saw there was a new movie adaptation and I meant to reread it. It’s now worth about $100!