Alice Oseman Addresses Why Olivia Colman Won’t Be In ‘Heartstopper’ Season 3

The creator also suggests that season 3 won't be the last and that more casting announcements are coming very soon.

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Olivia Colman Not Returning For Heartstopper Season 3

HEARTSTOPPER, from left: Olivia Colman, Kit Conner, (Season 1 ep. 106, aired April 22, 2022). photo: Rob Youngson / Netflix /Courtesy Everett Collection

Heartstopper will see one of its big names from the earlier seasons not return for the forthcoming third season set to release in October 2024. Olivia Colman, who featured heavily throughout seasons 1 and 2 as Nick’s mum, Sarah Nelson, won’t be featuring at all in season 3.

The news came through an interview this morning published by Forbes, who spoke to the actress as she promotes her new movie, Wicked Little Letters (which should come to Netflix in the US in the coming years through the Sony first window deal). When asked about her role in season 3 of Heartstopper, Colman said, “I couldn’t do number three. I couldn’t fit it in. I feel awful about that. I feel like I was part of one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever been part of.”

Responding to this news, which has been lighting up X all day, Alice Oseman, the creator of the comics and show, posted four stories on her Instagram addressing Colman’s absence and speaking about a few other factors, too.

The statement reads as follows:

“As many of you have heard today, the wonderful Olivia Colman will not be returning to the show for season three. We tried absolutely everything we could, but it wasn’t meant to be, and that’s just the way the TV world works sometimes. We are so deeply grateful to Olivia for the stunning performance she gave to the show and wish her the absolute best!”

Moving on to addressing whether she’s been recast for the third season, Oseman said no but was keen to address fans concerned about how this impacts the story, given how prominently she appears in the comments. Oseman writes:

We did not re-cast Sarah, and I know many of you – comic fans especially – will be upset and concerned about how we will move forward without Nick’s mum. I know there is one scene in particular that man oof you have been looking forward to in season 3, and you may be feeling disappointed and disheartned with us. I totally understand – I was really worried too, when I first found out!

If there is one thing I could ask of you, it’s not to give up on us quite yet. I have done everything in my power to preserve that scene as written in the comic, and I’ve written some new elements of the story to ensure that it gives us the emotional punch that it gives in the comic. And as for the rest of the season – please have faith! Nick’s story from the comics is still there, still infinitely important to me, and Sarah’s role as emotional support for Nick will shift to other characters in the story for now. If you get a season four, I would love for Olivia to be a part of it again!

Making a TV show sometimes has completely avoidable challenges like this. All we can do in the face of such challenges is our best, and I mean it when I say that I love this season, I love this show, and I’m so proud of everyone involved. We’ve all worked really hard and I’m so excited for you to see what we’ve come up with, including a few new casting announcements to come in the next few weeks – some of you may hve heard about already, others that you haven’t yet…”

One of those casting announcements almost certainly alludes to the fact that we picked up on Hayley Atwell being cast in the forthcoming third season. Atwell has been cast as Nick’s aunt Diane, who could be one of the people Oseman points to above in giving Nick emotional support.

Are you disappointed that Olivia Colman isn’t going to feature in Heartstopper season 3? Let us know in the comments down below.

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Founder of What's on Netflix, Kasey has been tracking the comings and goings of the Netflix library for over a decade. Covering everything from new movies, series and games from around the world, Kasey is in charge of covering breaking news, covering all the new additions now available on Netflix and what's coming next.

 Poster Rating: TV-14
Language: English
Genre: Drama, Romance
Cast: Joe Locke, Kit Connor, William Gao
Season Additions:
  • - Season 2 was added to Netflix on August 3rd, 2023
  • - Season 1 was added to Netflix on April 22nd, 2022
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