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You season 3: release date, trailer, cast, story, and everything we know so far

Joe looks on in You, which is returning to Netflix in late 2021.
(Image credit: Netflix)
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You season 3 has a release date of October 15, 2021, Netflix has confirmed – and it's released a first teaser trailer to mark the event. 

You is Netflix's popular thriller series that follows the obsessive and dangerous Joe Goldberg, and while it's definitely in the guilty pleasure realm of the streamer's originals, its success is justified. The show is big on jaw-dropping twists, but also careful characterization to keep the viewer engaged with its protagonist. 

This third season has been a long time coming, and will arrive almost two whole years after season 2. This time, Joe is contending with fatherhood, among other changes in his life. 

Here's what we know so far, but be wary that spoilers for seasons 1 and 2 follow. 

Release date: Netflix has revealed You season 3 will release on October 15, 2021.

Cast: Penn Badgley and Victoria Pedretti will return in this new season, and 12 additional cast members will join them – including Scott Speedman, Saffron Burrows and Travis Van Winkle. Scroll down for more on those characters. 

Will there be more seasons? Executive producer Sera Gamble has teased the prospect of "several" more seasons, which leads us to believe this one won't be the last. 

You season 3 release date

You season 3 release date: confirmed

You season 3 will release on October 15, 2021, it's been confirmed. Check out the first trailer below.

You season 3 trailer

Fatherhood will be a big part of You season 3 for Joe, as teased by the new trailer released alongside the launch announcement. Here it is:

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You season 3 cast

In November 2020, we got a huge number of new You season 3 cast announcements (see all their character backgrounds at Variety (opens in new tab)). Here's the core cast, including the 13 new names, the fresh cast members they'll join, and the returning faces:

  • Penn Badgely: Joe
  • Victoria Pedretti: Love
  • Scott Speedman: Matthew
  • Travis Van Winkle: Cary
  • Shalita Grant: Sherry
  • Saffron Burrows: Dottie
  • Dylan Arnold: Theo
  • Tati Gabrielle: Marienne
  • Michaela McManus: Natalie
  • Shannon Chan-Kent: Kiki
  • Ben Mehl: Dante
  • Chris O'Shea: Andrew
  • Christopher Sean: Brandon
  • Bryan Safi: Jackson
  • Mackenzie Astin: Gil
  • Ayelet Zurer: Dr Chandra
  • Jack Fisher: Young Joe Goldberg
  • Mauricio Lara: Friend of Young Joe

In 2020, we got confirmation of two (obvious) returning cast members: Badgley will return as Joe, and Victoria Pedretti as Love. The continued presence of Love in Joe's life was a pretty sure thing given how season 2 ended, with the couple in a pretty unholy union (more on what that twist means for season 3 below). Hopefully, we'll see the return of the extended cast of Quinn family and friends from season 2 as well.

We'll also be getting a new face in the shape of Scott Speedman (Animal Kingdom, Underworld. According to Deadline, "Speedman will play Matthew, a successful CEO, husband, and uncommunicative father. He’s reserved, at times mysterious, and has a tendency to be withdrawn, all of which masks a deep well of emotion underneath." 

Speedman joins the other new cast members: Travis Van Winkle and Shalita Grant. Grant is to play Sherry, a mean girl who feels threatened by Love, who puts on a front as a friendly 'Momfluencer'. Van Winkle will be Cary, a wealthy, charming "Master of Self-Optimization". With Cary and Matthew around, Joe has some more competition in the eligible bachelor department.

You season 3 story

Season 2 of You drastically stepped up the melodrama, diverging from the books with a pretty shocking character reveal. When Love is forced to confront Joe's true nature by his first victim, Candace, she takes the news in a way few people saw coming – by stabbing Candace in the throat. 

It was a jaw-dropper of a moment, revealing that Love is as obsessive and inclined toward murder as Joe is. Speaking to Entertainment Tonight (opens in new tab), Badgley offers some insight into the gender politics the show explores through Joe's rejection of his partner's darkest tendencies. 

"...it's like, 'OK yeah, theoretically they're the same – but then he denies her, which again brings up the archetypes of man and woman and the oppression of women, the inequality of men and women," Badgley says. He goes on to hint at a deeper look into Love in season three, noting that she: "...she doesn't appear to be the same kind of person, she doesn't appear to be the same kind of predator."

It's not just Love that season three plans to interrogate more thoroughly. Showrunner Sera Gamble is planning an even darker future for Joe, too. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter (opens in new tab), Gamble talked about how the ending of season 2 doesn't indicate good things for our protagonist. 

Penn Badgley as Joe Goldberg in You on Netflix.

(Image credit: Tyler Golden/Netflix)

In the wake of Love's revelations of murder, she also surprises Joe with the news that she is now carrying his child, securing her future with him (for now). We see the two move to the suburbs (with Love's mother in tow) and it's here that Joe spies his new neighbor through the fence – a possible new subject of his obsessive nature. 

"I think to me, the most important thing about that last scene is just it is confirmation that Joe is still Joe," Gamble says, "in a way that's not going to be great for Joe." What drives Joe, and how that makes us feel about his actions, was clearly Gamble's vision for season two, which saw an extensive dive into the traumatic childhoods of both Joe and Love. Even though their histories are pretty different, we learn that both leads experienced physical and emotional abuse as well as perpetrating acts of violence at a very young age. 

The finale was designed to set up, "a much more suburban, insular world where Joe would be a complete fish out of water". How Joe handles fatherhood will be an interesting element of next season – the past two seasons have shown that he's particularly protective of the children in his life. The trailer certainly underlines that theme, too.

Badgley told TVLine (opens in new tab) that Joe and Love are "not soulmates. He's afraid of her at the end. Basically, it's set up for season 3 in a way where they would be each other's arch nemesis." That's a lot of potential material for You season 3 to explore. 

You season 3: how many seasons will it get?

Joe's story won't necessarily be complete with You season 3, either. "I am not scared at all of saying that we definitely could follow Joe for several more seasons," Gamble told THR. Don't worry about the writers running out of ways to test their protagonists, either. "Because we believe in the world that Caroline gave us and we believe in these characters, we just know they'll keep finding really fucked up shit to get into."

You is a one-of-a-kind show

Netflix's guilty pleasure hit deserves its status as one of the biggest shows on the platform. With author Carlone Kepnes already working on book four in her You series, it should mean the producers have enough source material to chew on for a while yet. 

You feels like a fresh, sexy and oddly dangerous series – it's like an odd mix of soap opera and Hannibal, mixing dark thriller vibes with ludicrous twists for something extremely watchable. While on paper it looks a little too problematic to work, Gamble has found the right balance between darkness and deep characterization to pull it off. We can't wait for more. 

Bring on You season 3. 

James Wood is a contributor to TechRadar's entertainment channel.