31 new British period drama movies to see in 2023

2023 looks set to be another dazzling year for British period drama fans.

Here, in alphabetical order, we’ve listed all the new British historical and period drama movies you might want to see over the coming year!

Check out our gigantic previews of 2023’s brand new British period drama mini-series and all the returning British period drama TV series too.

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Chevalier

What’s it about?

Chevalier is inspired by the incredible true story of composer Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges.

The illegitimate son of an African slave and a French plantation owner, Bologne (Kelvin Harrison Jr.) rises to improbable heights in French society as a celebrated violinist-composer and fencer, complete with an ill-fated love affair and a falling out with Marie Antoinette (Lucy Boynton from The Ipcress File) and her court.

The cast also includes Samara Weaving (Picnic at Hanging Rock), Marton Csokas (Lord of the Rings), and Minnie Driver (Good Will Hunting).

When’s it out?

Chevalier is set for release in cinemas in April 2023.

 

The Critic

What’s it about?

An amazing cast includes Ian McKellen (Lord of the Rings), Gemma Arterton (Their Finest), Mark Strong (1917), Lesley Manville (Mrs Harris Goes to Paris), Romola Garai (Suffragette), Ben Barnes (Narnia), and Alfred Enoch (Harry Potter) in this period thriller based on Anthony Quinn’s classic novel Curtain Call.

Set in 1934 London, The Critic stars McKellen as a feared drama critic, with Arterton playing an actress who winds up caught up in a dangerous web of blackmail, deceit and murder.

When’s it out?

The Critic will be released in 2023.

Anthony Quinn’s Curtain Call novel is available on Amazon.

 

Empire of Light

What’s it about?

Olivia Colman (The Crown) and Colin Firth (The King’s Speech) star in this 1980s-set drama from 1917 director Sam Mendes, set in and around a beautiful old cinema on the south coast of England.

They’ll be joined in Empire of Light by Toby Jones (Detectorists), Crystal Clarke (The Electrical Life of Louis Wain), Tanya Moodie (A Discovery of Witches), and Micheal Ward (Small Axe).

When’s it out?

Empire of Light is set for release in UK cinemas in January.

 

Enys Men

What’s it about?

Set in 1973 on an uninhabited island off the Celtic Sea, this mind-bending Cornish folk horror comes from the BAFTA winning writer-director of 2019’s acclaimed Bait.

When a wildlife volunteer’s daily observations of a rare flower take a dark turn into the strange and metaphysical, both her and viewers are forced to question what is real and what is nightmare.

What did the reviews say?

“A supremely disquieting study of solitude … Bait director Mark Jenkin delivers another eerie prose-poem of a film, about a isolated woman lost inside her own mind.” ★★★★ – The Guardian

“An artfully constructed folk horror film about never-ending grief … Mark Jenkin returns with an experimental tale of loss that is grounded by impeccable and time-honored technique.” – IndieWire

 

Firebrand

What’s it about?

From the producer of The Dig, Firebrand stars Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl) as Katherine Parr, the last of King Henry VIII’s six wives, alongside Jude Law (Fantastic Beasts), Erin Doherty (The Crown), and Eddie Marsan (Ridley Road).

With four husbands herself, Parr was Queen of England and Ireland from until Henry’s death in 1547, and was the final queen consort of the House of Tudor.

When’s it out?

Firebrand is expected to arrive in cinemas in 2023.

 

Freud’s Last Session

What’s it about?

Interweaving past, present and fantasy, Freud’s Last Session stars Sir Anthony Hopkins as Austrian neurologist Sigmund Freud.

On the eve of the Second World War and the end of his life, the movie sees Freud invite iconic author C.S. Lewis (Downton Abbey star Matthew Goode) for a debate over the existence of God.

When’s it out?

Freud’s Last Session will probably be released in late 2023.

 

A Haunting in Venice

What’s it about?

Kenneth Branagh returns as Hercule Poirot for a third time, following 2017’s Murder on the Orient Express and 2022’s Death on the Nile.

The amazing ensemble cast this time around features Jamie Dornan (Belfast), Tina Fey (30 Rock), and Michelle Yeoh (Star Trek).

Set in post-World War II Venice on All Hallows’ Eve, A Haunting in Venice is based on Agatha Christie’s 1969 book Hallowe’en Party.

When’s it out?

A Haunting in Venice will be in cinemas towards the end of the year.

Agatha Christie’s Hallowe’en Party novel is available on Amazon.

 

The History of Sound

What’s it about?

Josh O’Connor from The Durrells and The Crown stars alongside Normal People actor Paul Mescal in this World War I love story.

Adapted from Ben Shattuck’s award-winning short story, The History of Sound revolves around two young men, Lionel (Mescal) and David (O’Connor), who set out to record the lives, voices and music of their American countrymen during the First World War.

When’s it out?

The History of Sound is expected to arrive in late 2023.

 

The Hood

What’s it about?

Written and directed by the Bourne franchise’s Paul Greengrass, this British historical movie stars Benedict Cumberbatch as a farmer who becomes a leader in England’s peasant revolt of 1381.

When’s it out?

The Hood will be released in late 2023 or 2024.

 

An Ideal Wife

What’s it about?

From the director of Emma Thompson’s Good Luck to You Leo Grande, this movie stars Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones) as Irish children’s author Constance Lloyd, wife of Oscar Wilde.

An Ideal Wife follows the awakening Constance Lloyd experienced when she discovered that Wilde was gay.

When’s it out?

An Ideal Wife will be released in 2023 or 2024.

 

Instrumental

What’s it about?

The Theory of Everything director James Marsh adapts the bestselling memoir of English concert pianist James Rhodes, played by Andrew Garfield (Breathe).

Instrumental: A Memoir of Madness, Medication, and Music reveals how music saved the piano prodigy’s life after he was abused during his time at his all-boys junior school.

When’s it out?

Instrumental is expected to be released in 2023 or 2024.

James Rhodes’ book Instrumental: A Memoir of Madness, Medication, and Music is available on Amazon.

 

Lee

What’s it about?

Kate Winslet stars as Lee Miller in this historical movie about the model-turned-photographer’s experiences in World War II.

The cast also includes Jude Law (The Nest), Andrea Riseborough (Brighton Rock), Josh O’Connor (The Crown), and Marion Cotillard (Inception).

When’s it out?

Lee will be released in 2023.

 

Let Me Count The Ways

What’s it about?

From the makers of Belle, Let Me Count the Ways dramatises the love affair between the Elizabeth Barrett Browning and playwright Robert Browning in the mid-19th century.

The Victorian poet is played by English actress Emilia Clarke, best known as Daenerys in HBO’s Game of Thrones.

When’s it out?

Let Me Count the Ways is set for release in 2023 or 2024.

 

The Last Kingdom: Seven Kings Must Die

What’s it about?

The fifth season of The Last Kingdom is followed by a one-off feature-length movie, Seven Kings Must Die.

Producer Nigel Marchant has explained that while Season 5’s finale “fully concludes the series,” the show’s makers felt “there was always one more story that we wanted to tell.”

Set in the late 9th century AD, when England is divided into seven separate kingdoms, Netflix’s epic historical drama series is based on the Saxon Stories novels by Bernard Cornwell.

When’s it out?

The Last Kingdom: Seven Kings Must Die will premiere exclusively on Netflix in 2023.

 

Me, You

What’s it about?

Tom Hollander (The Night Manager) and Daisy Jacob (Vanity Fair) lead the cast of this adaptation of Erri De Luca’s novel Me, You (Tu, Mio).

Set in the 1950s in post-war Italy, the story follows 16-year-old London native Marco (Alessandro Gassmann), who is on holiday in Italy with his father Edward, played by Hollander.

When’s it out?

Me, You is expected to arrive in cinemas in 2023.

Erri De Luca’s novel Me, You (Tu, Mio) is available on Amazon.

 

Midas Man

What’s it about?

Midas Man tells the story of British music entrepreneur Brian Epstein, who shot to fame in his 20s discovering the likes of The Beatles, Cilla Black and Gerry and the Pacemakers before dying at the young age of 32.

Alongside Jacob Fortune-Lloyd (Wolf Hall) as Epstein, the film also features Emily Watson (Apple Tree Yard) and Eddie Marsan (Ridley Road) as his parents, plus It’s a Sin star Omari Douglas, and Rosie Day from Outlander.

When’s it out?

Midas Man will be released in 2023.

 

Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare

What’s it about?

Best known for his two Sherlock Holmes movies, as well as King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, and Disney’s live-action Aladdin remake, Guy Ritchie reunites with The Man From UNCLE star Henry Cavill in this World War II secret operatives movie.

Ritchie is adapting The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare: How Churchill’s Secret Warriors Set Europe Ablaze and Gave Birth to Modern Black Ops by historian Damien Lewis.

When’s it out?

Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare is expected to arrive in cinemas in 2023.

Damien Lewis’s book The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare is available on Amazon.

 

Napoleon

What’s it about?

Gladiator director Ridley Scott’s latest epic explores Napoleon Bonaparte’s origins and his swift, ruthless climb to emperor, viewed through the prism of his addictive and often volatile relationship with his wife and one true love, Joséphine.

Joaquin Phoenix (Gladiator) leads the cast as Napoleon, with The Crown star Vanessa Kirby playing Empress Joséphine.

When’s it out?

Napoleon will arrive on Apple TV+ in 2023.

 

Nell Gwynn

What’s it about?

Based on the Olivier-winning play by Jessica Swale, this historical movie dramatises the life of Nell Gwynn, mistress of Charles II, and her part in the theatre of the 17th century.

Nell Gwynn comes from the makers of Darkest HourAtonement, and The Theory of Everything, with French-British actress Emma Mackey (Emily, Eiffel) playing the title character.

When’s it out?

Nell Gwynn is expected to arrive in cinemas in 2023.

Jessica Swale’s Nell Gwynn book is available on Amazon.

 

Peaky Blinders movie

What’s it about?

Following the sixth and final season of the hit BBC television series in 2022, Peaky Blinders returns for an epic cinematic goodbye to wrap up the story of a crime family in Birmingham, England in the early 20th century.

All the main surviving cast from the TV show are expected to reprise their roles.

When’s it out?

The Peaky Blinders movie will arrive in cinemas and on Netflix in 2023 or 2024.

Peaky Blinders is available on DVD on Amazon.

 

Peter Pan & Wendy

What’s it about?

Jude Law stars as Captain Hook in Disney’s new live-action fantasy adventure film.

Peter Pan & Wendy will be a reimagining of the classic 1953 animated movie, based on J. M. Barrie’s 1904 play Peter Pan.

When’s it out?

Peter Pan & Wendy will premiere exclusively on Disney+ this year.

 

Sieze Them!

What’s it about?

Set in Britain in the Dark Ages, Seize Them! stars Aimee Lou Wood (Living) as the egotistical Queen Dagan, who ends up on the run after she’s toppled from the throne by a revolution led by Humble Joan, played by Nicola Coughlan from Bridgerton and Derry Girls.

The historical comedy’s brilliant cast also includes Ghosts star Lolly Adefope, Jessica Hynes (Up the Women), Paul Kaye (After Life), Nick Frost (Shaun of the Dead), and comedian James Acaster.

When’s it out?

Sieze Them! will be released in cinemas later this year.

 

Spamalot

What’s it about?

Based on 1975’s Monty Python and the Holy Grail movie, the hit Broadway musical Spamalot is finally heading to big screen (hopefully) after years of production delays.

The upcoming film adaptation has been written by Monty Python member Eric Idle, and will be directed by Casey Nicholaw, who was the original Broadway production’s choreographer.

When’s it out?

Spamalot might arrive in 2023 – we’ll see!

Monty Python and the Holy Grail is available to watch on Amazon Prime Video.

 

A Special Relationship

What’s it about?

Rachel Weisz (The Favourite) plays Hollywood legend Elizabeth Taylor in this biopic about the Oscar-winning star’s journey from actress to activist.

A Special Relationship comes from the makers of The King’s Speech, with a screenplay by Slumdog Millionaire writer Simon Beaufoy.

The movie is described as “a celebration of how friendships can change people’s lives, and how Elizabeth helped change the world.”

When’s it out?

A Special Relationship will be released in 2023.

 

War Magician

What’s it about?

Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock) stars as Jasper Maskelyne, a real-life British illusionist who used magic to defeat Erwin Rommel during the Second World War.

War Magician is based on the book by David Fisher, and is directed Colin Trevorrow (Jurassic World).

When’s it out?

War Magician is expected to arrive in cinemas in 2023.

David Fisher’s book is available on Amazon.

 

White Bird: A Wonder Story

What’s it about?

White Bird: A Wonder Story charts the story of a young Jewish girl hidden away by a boy and his family in Nazi-occupied France during World War II.

Based on R.J. Palacio’s graphic novel, the movie stars Gillian Anderson (The Crown) as Vivienne, the woman who along with her family must make unimaginable choices.

When’s it out?

White Bird: A Wonder Story will be released in cinemas this August.

R.J. Palacio’s graphic novel White Bird: A Wonder Story is available on Amazon.

 

Wicked Little Letters

What’s it about?

Olivia Colman reunites with her The Lost Daugher co-star Jessie Buckley in the this comedy-drama set in the 1920s.

Based on a true story, Wicked Little Letters follows the inhabitants of a sleepy seaside town as they join together to solve the mystery of who’s sending some rather strongly-worded letters to the local residents!

When’s it out?

Wicked Little Letters will be released later in 2023.

 

Women in the Castle

What’s it about?

Adapted from Jessica Shattuck’s hit 2017 book, Women in the Castle tells the story of three German women during and after the Second World War.

The trio of main characters – played by Kristin Scott Thomas (Four Weddings and a Funeral), Daisy Ridley (Murder on the Orient Express), and Nina Hoss (My Little Sister) – are widows of conspirators involved in the assassination attempt on Hitler, and each of them must deal with the fallout of her personal life differently.

When’s it out?

Women in the Castle is expected to arrive in cinemas in 2023.

Jessica Shattuck’s novel is available on Amazon.

 

Wonka

What’s it about?

Paddington director Paul King helms this family movie based on the character of Willy Wonka, from Roald Dahl’s classic children’s novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Starring alongside Timothée Chalamet (The King) as the titular young inventor are Olivia Colman (The Crown), Jim Carter (Downton Abbey), Sally Hawkins (Paddington), Matt Lucas (Doctor Who), Mathew Baynton (Ghosts), and Rowan Atkinson (Mr Bean).

When’s it out?

Wonka will be released in cinemas on 15th December 2023.

Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory book is available on Amazon.

 

Young Woman and the Sea

What’s it about?

Based on Glenn Stout’s book, Young Woman and the Sea tells the incredible true story of Gertrude Ederle, the first woman to swim the English Channel in 1926.

Daisy Ridley (Star Wars) leads the cast as Trudy Ederle, alongside Tilda Cobham-Hervey, Christopher Eccleston (Doctor Who), and Stephen Graham (Peaky Blinders).

When’s it out?

Young Woman and the Sea premieres exclusively streaming on Disney+ later this year.

Glenn Stout’s book Young Woman and the Sea is available on Amazon.

 

Take a look back at our list of 2022’s best British period drama movies here!