The dreamy BBC adaptation of Sally Rooney’s bestselling novel Normal People, chronicling the romantic lives of Connell Waldron and Marianne Sheridan as they fall in and out of love over several years, is a major hit.
The 12-episode series dropped as a boxset on BBC Three on April 26, 2020, with regular Monday night broadcasts on BBC One stoking the hype for a little longer. After all, it was the last BBC series to complete shooting before the coronavirus pandemic hit – so it deserves a bit of extra support.
While the series stays mostly loyal to the book, the screen story ended where the one on the page did. This is a narrative about young people with so much life to live, and one that’s already filled the hearts of countless fans. It’s far too soon to rule out the idea of a second series, then. Here’s everything we know so far about Normal People season two.
Normal People season two release date: when will the next series arrive on the BBC?
Very much to be confirmed. Season one premiered on Sunday April 26, 2020 with no confirmed news about any follow-up material yet. However, another 12-part Sally Rooney BBC adaptation was green-lit earlier this year, in the shape of her debut novel Conversations with Friends.
The stars of Normal People certainly haven’t ruled out a second series though. “Series one is the book,” Mescal told NME, “But we don’t know what’s on the other side. The great thing about these two characters is that their lives continue.”
Edgar-Jones echoed this sentiment: “That’s what’s so wonderful about the book. At the end, they’re very much alive and you’re left not knowing where they’re gonna go. It’s upsetting to read, but it’s also quite thrilling and realistic.
“We’ve left the series in a similar way. I think it’s quite interesting to leave it open.”
Normal People producer Ed Guiney told The Hollywood Reporter that the team is “not thinking about a second season at the moment,” but “maybe in the future at some point in time,” pointing to the ongoing development of Conversations with Friends.
He added further thoughts on the existing Normal People timeline as the 12-part series presented it. “It feels like we tell a very complete story about these characters’ lives, and so it’s not something we’re moving to do,” Guiney said. “Maybe there’s a version of it down the line.”
Speaking in a new interview, Mescal has admitted that a potential second season of the hit show is “not on the cards” currently.
“There’s no question that [his character, Connell] to me is still alive and breathing and very much has a lot of life left to live, and has a relationship with Marianne that is maybe unfinished,” Mescal told Mail Online.
He continued: “I do feel like the series that has finished is its own thing, and I’m totally comfortable with that. It’s not on the cards at the moment, but if I got the opportunity to play him again, amazing.”
Normal People season two trailer: is there a teaser yet?
There isn’t, but the BBC has been publishing regular snippets from season one to entice fans to catch up. Here’s one from the first episode:
Who’s going to be in the cast?
It seems impossible to imagine any kind of future without Connell and Marianne, played by Paul Mescal and Daisy Edgar-Jones. The story very much focuses on the two lovers above anyone else, as much as friends and family dip in and out of the story.
Considering where things ended in season one, it seems unlikely Marianne’s mother or brother would have much to do in any follow-up episodes, those toxic relationships very much a thing of the past.
Joanna, a college friend of Marianne’s played by Eliot Salt, is one of the few who remained close with Marianne as the first series came to a close – so it could be likely we could see her return.
Connell’s mother, Lorraine (Sarah Greene), is one of the only adult characters given a sturdy storyline. It is, after all, because of her that Connell and Marianne meet. As her relationship with her son and with Marianne grows stronger by the end of the series, it would be disappointing to write anything further without her.
What will happen in season two of Normal People?
Considering the first series ends in the same way the book did, any follow-up episodes would have to write a new speculative narrative from scratch. This isn’t entirely implausible – author Sally Rooney co-scripted half of this series, and so could be involved in further story work too.
It’s also been seen in the case of other literary adaptations, where onscreen sequels have created their own continuation of the finished story on the page. Following the success of Luca Guadagnino’s gay romance Call Me By Your Name, a sequel is now in the works – and a follow-up novel was only written after the second film was confirmed.
In terms of Connell and Marianne? The future is unclear. In the last moments of the first series, Marianne is packing up her bedroom at home while Connell tells her he might be going to New York for a year.
Considering the first series travelled to Sweden, Italy and Dublin, relocating everything for a few episodes in New York doesn’t seem so far-flung. There’s a whole new world opening up for Connell, but for Marianne, too.
At the end, she seems happy and confident about staying in Ireland – which makes a stark change from her state of mind for much of the show. As they are both so young, still, it seems that nothing is off-limits for the next chapter of their story.
Director Lenny Abrahamson told Deadline in June 2020 that there have been “no concrete” discussions about what season two could entail, but he at least hasn’t written off the possibility of a new series.
“We’ve talked about the possibility of how interesting it would be to check back in with them, but apart from just general musings and over a drink, no, there have been no concrete discussions about what it would be like,” Abrahamson said.
And as for what the series could contain, he added: “I have a sneaking thing in the back of my head that if everybody was willing, and if the stars aligned, I’d love to revisit them in five years and find out what happened, where they are.
“Is somebody a father or a mother? What relationships are they in that then get disrupted by their meeting again? But it would be really strange to pick that up eight weeks later with him traveling to New York, I think. There needs to be time.”