Late Summer/Fall Historical Costume Movie & TV Trailers!


Coming soon in the U.S.!


Vita and Virginia (Aug. 23)

The love affair between socialite and popular author Vita Sackville-West and literary icon Virginia Woolf. Starring Gemma Arterton and Isabella Rossellini, with costumes by Lorna Marie Mugan.


Carnival Row (Aug. 30 on Amazon)

“A Victorian fantasy world filled with mythological immigrant creatures whose rich homelands were invaded by the empires of man.” Stars Orlando Bloom and Cara Delevingne, with costumes by Joanna Eatwell.


Downton Abbey movie (Sept. 20)

Starring all the usual suspects (Maggie SmithElizabeth McGovernMatthew Goode, Laura Carmichael, Hugh Bonneville) plus Imelda Staunton and Tuppence Middleton; costumes by Anna Robbins.


Judy (Sept. 27)

Renée Zellweger as Judy Garland performing her final 1968 concerts, with costumes by Jany Temime.


The Durrells in Corfu: season 4 (Sept. 29 on PBS)

Starring Keeley Hawes, with costumes by Charlotte Holdich.


Poldark: season 5 (Sept. 29 on PBS)

It’s finally ending! Aidan Turner, Eleanor Tomlinson, and Heida Reed are back, with costumes by Howard Burden.


Harriet (Nov. 1)

The story of Harriet Tubman, who helped free hundreds of slaves from the South after escaping from slavery herself in 1849. With costumes by Paul Tazewell.


Portrait of a Lady on Fire (Dec. 6)

“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.” Not a trailer, but the first of 3 clips. Costumes by Dorothée Guiraud.


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)

Yet another adaption of the Louisa May Alcott classic, starring Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, etc., with costumes by Jacqueline Durran.


Mulan (March 27, 2020)

A young Chinese maiden disguises herself as a male warrior in order to save her father. A live-action film based on Disney’s ‘Mulan.’ Costumes by Bina Daigeler.



No Release Date

Beecham House (on PBS)

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


Catherine the Great (on HBO)

Helen Mirren in a TV miniseries about the Russian monarch. Costumes by Maja Meschede.


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.


Sanditon (on PBS)

An 8-part miniseries based on Jane Austen’s unfinished final novel.


The Warrior Queen of Jhansi

The true story of Lakshmibai, the historic Queen of Jhansi who fiercely led her army against the British East India Company in the infamous mutiny of 1857. Costumes by Swati Bhise, Riyaz Ali Merchant, and Vidhi Singhania.


Year of the Rabbit

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



Which upcoming historical costume movie or TV show are you most excited about?

40 Responses

  1. Susan Pola Staples

    Warrior Queen of Jhansi, Catherine the Great, Downton Abbey, Harriet, Vita and Virginia, the steampunk Carnival Row, Sandition, Durrells, and Judy are what I’m looking forward to. I might see Poldark on DVD and I’m not sure about Little Women.

  2. Charity

    Carnival Row looks incredibly cool. I’m excited about it. I’ll watch most of these, but not sure how I feel about Little Women. It’d have to be pretty damn amazing to replace the Winona Ryder version in my heart.

  3. mmcquown

    Disney’s Mulan, my arse! She was a real historical person. As usual, Disney co-opts and gets credit and control for what they didn’t create.

    • opusanglicanum

      I rememebr seeing the peking opera when I was about ten, thier version of mulan brew me away, I saw it about five times – one tiny little dancer walked to the centre of the stage, and eight men started throwing things at her whilst she became this little dervish that just batted away every projectile

    • MoHub

      I don’t even care about that. I’m just sick and tired of Disney remaking its animated flicks as live-action films.

        • Nzie

          Wait, what? but more importantly, WHY?? Lilo and Stitch was a lovely film, and it doesn’t need a remake, and I liked that it wasn’t exactly realistic in the look, either. It was charming; let it be.

          I know as a broke millennial I’m nostalgic and risk averse, but I’m not a billion dollar industry leading company with decades of experience and my pick of talent, nor would I invest in great projects like Queen of Katwe and then not work to get the viewership. They want to be all things to all people by owning all things, make us pay for their streaming service, and then can’t develop their people and be willing to invest in something new? Ugh.

          Sorry, rant over I guess. Just so frustrating.

    • Allie

      I think they’re referring to the Disney version of Mulan, not the original Ballad of Mulan. Because the one from Disney clearly deviates from the source material

  4. Nzie

    Very excited for Harriet, and Queen of Jhansi looks really interesting—hadn’t heard of it. Also, Judy looks pretty compelling. I will have to let my grandma know about it.

    I am also looking forward to A Hidden Life, out in December, which is set in the late 30s/early 40s, by Terrence Malick about Austrian conscientious objector Franz Jagerstatter (eventually martyred by the Nazis). I just spotted the trailer yesterday.

  5. Regina L

    Please, please, PLEASE, tell me there are NO KILTS in “Robert the Bruce”?

  6. opusanglicanum

    we’ve already ahd beecham house. It’s very very pretty to look at, but the plot is indescribably dull, I gave up after a couple of episodes

  7. Saraquill

    I’m very keen on Harriet. As for the rest, the film about Lakshmibai looks interesting and I’m always up for queer stories.

  8. Kaite Fink

    Harriet. I get the chills just watching the trailer. It looks awesome! Carnival Row has some serious potential, but I don’t have Amazon. And I love Mirren, so I’m eager for her take on Catherine.

  9. Ihearthistory

    I love this site – the analysis of costume and story is amazing and so in dpeth, whether the film/series itself portrays the costumes well or….not so much! But to present this tantalizing list without (or extremely limited – Poldark I’m looking at you) any relevant comments/feelings/analysis from the author? Even a short original sentence that’s not in quotes and pulled from its website? It’s the equivalent of a meeting that should have been an email. Wish there was more meat on these bones.

    • Trystan L. Bass

      We don’t have any special insider info on upcoming movies/shows. Check back on another day — we’ll probably have an opinion on something we’ve actually been able to watch!

  10. Eryn

    Please tell me I’m not the only one getting WTFrock vibes from Little Women. The loose hair, the weird menswear on Jo, the elbow-length pastel “evening gloves…” yikes.

      • Nzie

        yes, definitely concerned about all those things. I think Gentleman Jack showed there are ways to use period clothing (maybe fudging a couple years) to communicate “not like the others” that don’t just involve… basically being modern.

  11. anlis

    However cool the premise is, I feel that Carnival Row is going to be bad. Cara Delevingne can’t act if her life depended on it.

    • Cheryl from Maryland

      Agreed. I want to love it, but then I saw Ms. Delevingne on a late night talk show. Incompetent as a guest and in the clip.

  12. Katie O.

    I’m really excited about Harriet! And I’m pretty curious about Sanditon too. It’s interesting to see an adaptation of an unfinished work – there’s more room for the showrunner to be creative without offending purists, but there’s also more room for them to go off the deep end. So I guess we’ll have to wait and see!

    • Kate D

      Yeah. I’m curious about Sanditon. I’ll definitely watch it, but from the trailer I’m cautious/unsure if the plot will be a good completion or an off the rails mess.

  13. SarahV

    I am suuuuuuuuuuuuuuper excited about seeing Helen Mirren’s Catherine the Great. I feel that was the role she was literally born to play.

    And if I’m not mistaken, the stody British matriarch in Beecham House is none other than Mrs. Patmore, ‘s Downton’s own Lesley Nicol.

  14. Sam Marchiony

    Little Women annoys me most not for the WTFrockery (put your damn hair up, girls) but for the clunky FEMINIST dialogue Greta Gerwig insisted in cramming into the trailer. The whole point of the book is that it’s feminist simply because it’s about young women finding their own paths, you don’t need to beat us over the head with it.

    • Lea

      Lol, yes, so true!
      And I generally avoid Emma Watson, girl has the acting chops of a wet paper sack.

    • Roxana

      Nobody tells Amy she has to marry well, she decides that for herself: Meg didn’t, Jo won’t, Beth can’t, it’s up to me!
      Marmee tells her girls right out she’d rather see them happy Old Maids than unhappy wives.
      And Jo wrote sensational literature which was All about doomed and dangerous romances.

  15. Roxana

    In case anybody is wondering Lakhshmibai was not a magical swordswoman. She did fight in the last stand of her troops against the British. I wonder if the movie will include the slaughter of English women and children at Jhansi? Probably not.

  16. Lea

    Definitely watching:
    1. Harriet, I’ve always loved her story!
    2. Cathrine the Great (!!!)
    3. Mulan (actually looks really kick-ass!)
    4. Year of the Rabbit (who doesn’t love a drunk dectective??)
    5. Robert the Bruce (love the bad boys)
    6. Sandition (will probably watch once it gets cold out)

    Definitely not watching:
    -Carnival Row (Cara is usually in exceptionally bad movies….)
    -Judy (Just no…)
    -1917 (Don’t care for WWI/WWII movies or books, too sad :(

  17. Mizdema

    Noemie Merlant (Portrait of a lady on fire) is also in Curiosa (XIX century) : you can watch some pictures on IMDB.As it is supposed to be erotic, you could see some corsets and underwear, I guess…

  18. Roxana

    Did they have lights on guns back in 1917? I know it’s standard now but back then?

  19. Roxana

    Mulan: Ooh! I know those round extended family conpounds! They’re real and incredibly cool. And btw that forehead paint is totally T’ang. Is that the right dynasty?

  20. Damnitz

    The French film sounds interesting. Although: which 18th century-family did care about the wish of the daughter/sister under their rule if she wanted this or that?
    The plot of 1917 sounds too much like “Gallipoli” and “Private Ryan” – always that running against the clock/searching for a unit on a too large battlefield… I hate that idea.
    Helen Mirren as Catherine the Great? Not the best idea, I think. I would prefer Kathy Bates or Samantha Morton. Somebody with such a sort of humour and wit (however Helen Mirren is a great actress).

  21. Roxana

    I think Helen Mirren is working her way down the list of famous European Queens.

  22. Aleko

    That Sanditon trailer is coming up ‘video unavailable’, but you can watch one here:

    It looks pretty ropey, from the moment we see the heroine’s father with a full beard – in 1817! (0.22). Someone kisses a lady’s hand on being introduced – a complete no-no in Britain (0.48). 70-year-old Lady Denham wears full 1770s gear (1.13).A member of the gentry playing beach cricket wears an 18th-century flat tricorn (2.03).

    There’s a group pic of some leading characters here: You get a full view of Lady Denham’s sack-and-beribboned-stomacher outfit. It’s ridiculous. Yes, I know all about old ladies ceasing to follow fashion and sticking with what they were used to: but to be dressing like that in 1817, she’d have to have stopped updating her look from the age of about 30!

    • Tango Bravo

      On the plus side, there’s Theo James in some (ahem) historically accurate nude sea bathing