Things are finally starting to get moving again on season three of Netflix‘s hit comedy drama Sex Education. While filming has been delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic, the producers are hoping to resume filming in August (with cast and crew strictly adhering to social distancing rules, of course).
Asa Butterfield and Gillian Anderson lead the Sex Education cast, which is filmed around south Wales. And in a positive sign that shooting is about to get going again, the production team is now looking for locals to serve as extras.
Filming for the third season had been due to begin in April, but it was put on pause thanks to COVID-19. So far it’s unclear what the four-month delay will mean for the show’s release date (will it still be able to premiere on Netflix in the first half of 2021?), and it remains to be seen how the show will film its trademark intimidate scenes (the clue is in the show’s name).
Since arriving on Netflix in 2019, Sex Education has gained a legion of followers, each of whom are invested in awkward Otis Milburn (Butterfield) and cool girl Maeve’s (Emma Mackey) will-they-wont-they romance.
For proof of the pairing’s popularity, look no further than just how furious people were when their relationship was put in peril at the climax of season two, when Isaac (George Robinson) showed his selfish side in an attempt to have Maeve to himself. No doubt viewers will be hankering for answers about what happens next.
Here’s everything we know about Sex Education season three so far. (Warning: **spoilers for seasons 1 and 2**)
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Has Sex Education been renewed for a third season?
When is Sex Education season 3 released on Netflix?
Based on the release dates of the two previous series, we had been expecting Sex Education to arrive in January 2021. However, with production on season three delayed thanks to coronavirus, it remains to be seen whether the release date will be delayed too (and if so, by how long).
Filming was meant to begin in May/April 2020 in Wales, where Sex Education is filmed – but (for obvious reasons) that was impossible. Thankfully, Netflix has now confirmed filming can begin in August using new guidelines on how to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
According to Deadline, Sony Pictures Television (which owns Sex Education’s production company Eleven) has said that work is underway preparing for season three, with producers hoping to start filming in August by drawing up safety protocols for production and telling cast members to keep August dates free.
Local media in Wales also reports that Sex Education is looking for extras aged 18-26 to take part in filming in September.
Should filming go ahead, there remains a chance that the next season could be released in its usual January slot – fingers crossed! – and it’s reportedly still possible that the drama will air in the first half of 2021.
Series star Asa Butterfield confirmed in a June interview with Deadline that he should have been filming Sex Education in “sunny Wales right now”.
“We should [be filming]. We should be in sunny Wales right now. It’s a shame, but this whole situation is pretty mad. It’s been a lot of holding your breath to see what happens. I have a feeling this is going to go on for a while — I don’t know when we’re going to go back and start shooting. It’s hard to tell..”
However, he later stated that “Sex Education is going to happen as soon as possible”.
He also added that due to the high number of sex scenes in the show, the pandemic could cause more of an issue for Sex Education than other shows.
He said, “It’s quite hard to keep the two-meter distance when you’re kissing someone or doing anything else. I’m sure that’s something they have realised. As well as that, when you’re on a set making film and TV, there are so many parts to this machine. It will make it incredibly difficult to enforce a rule around quarantine, but you have to because this virus is going to be around for ages. Luckily that’s not my job to figure those things out.”
In July 2020, Butterfield gave another update on the schedule – chatting to Screen Daily he spoke about the possibility of quarantining the entire cast and crew, claiming “If that’s what needs to be done, then that’s what needs to be done.”
He added, “The foundation of this show is relationships, friendships, and intimacy, and it gives such a positive message. Otis and [best friend] Eric are always hugging and jumping around – we can’t change that. I would rather we all quarantined and we keep the heart of the show than lose that.”
As the ending of season two teased a number of potential new relationships, viewers should expect to see the main Sex Education cast return – Otis (Asa Butterfield), Maeve (Emma Mackey), Eric (Ncuti Gatwa), Jean (Gillian Anderson), Adam (Connor Swindells), Aimee (Aimee Lou Wood), Jackson (Kedar Williams-Stirling) and villainous Mr Groff (Alistair Petrie) – all of whom appeared in the series’ renewal video.
Hopefully, we will also be seeing more of Jackson’s friend and tutor Viv (Chinenye Ezeudu), who was introduced last season and quickly became a fan favourite.
New characters Rahim (Sami Outalbali) and Isaac (George Robinson) also made a big impression on viewers – with the latter proving quite controversial by the season finale. Given how essential they were to the plot of season two, viewers should expect to see them again in season three.
It remains to be seen whether we can expect a return for Anne-Marie Duff, who played Maeve’s mother in season two, or Edward Bluemel who portrayed her brother Sean in the first run but did not return for the second.
New students are bound to arrive at Moordale as well, but Netflix has not announced any new cast members at this point in time…
Will Sex Education return for further seasons?
Good news for Sex Education fans – its creator Laurie Nunn told The Hollywood Reporter that she thinks the show’s characters have “got legs” and that Sex Education could run for several more seasons.
“I think I could do some more with them if we’re given the chance,” she said. “[Netflix] is very supportive and really wanting us to tell the stories that we feel passionate about. It really feels like we’re all on the same page, wanting to make the same show.”
Sex Education season 2 ending explained
*CONTAINS MAJOR SPOILERS*
By the end of series two, Otis has broken up with Ola after embarrassing her, Maeve and himself at a party, where he loses his virginity to popular girl Ruby.
After making amends with Jean, whom he fell out with prior to throwing a party, and chatting to his partially estranged father, he realises that he is in love with Maeve and leaves a voicemail telling her so. However, Maeve’s neighbour Isaac, who has a crush on her himself, deletes it before she has a chance to listen.
Eric, who has spent the entirety of season two in a love triangle, picks his former bully Adam over boyfriend Raheem, after Adam storms the stage during Moordale’s school musical and professes his love for him.
After breaking up with Otis, Ola realises that she has feelings for her friend, Lily, and begins a relationship with her.
Sex Education season 3 theories: What will happen next?
Obviously exact plot details aren’t readily available – but we can be sure that the show will continue to explore the relationships between the pupils of Moordale Secondary School – especially what might happen next with Maeve and Otis and Eric and Adam.
Star Asa Butterfield has spoken out on what he thinks the future has in store for Otis and Maeve, in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter in June.
“They both have a bit of growing to do if they are potentially to become a couple,” he said. “But, equally, I can see them just being good friends. I love Emma [Mackey], and we all get on amazingly well.
“It’s hard to put your finger on when you do experience that chemistry, but there are moments — fireworks, really — when you work with someone and it just feels right. Emma is so good at playing all of Maeve’s different shades and also showing her vulnerability.
“Otis is one of the few people who can get her to show those cracks. We didn’t actually get many scenes in season two together, which was really sad. I’m hoping they write some more for us next year.”
If we hear more whispers about possible developments in season three, we’ll post them here – so make sure to keep checking back!
Is there a trailer for Sex Education season 3?
There isn’t a full trailer for season three just yet – but Netflix did release this humorous short featuring Mr Groff walking the corridors of Moordale, when they announced the show would be returning.