The chief love story of Bridgerton’s first season, and its various sexscapades, is undeniably what made it such a hit amongst Netflix fans. But it was only after the nationwide bingefest that lead actor Regé-Jean Page, who played the Duke of Hastings, revealed he wasn't coming back for the next season. See, each subsequent season (which is greenlit all the way up to Season 4 thus far) will be adapted from the next book in Julia Quinn’s series (each about one sibling in particular). But fans are still holding out hope that Page will make a return in some capacity and, on that front, executive producer Shonda Rhimes is sharing some more honest thoughts on the possibility.
She's notoriously known for her iconic love triangles on the ABC network and has even brought some characters back from the dead, to the delight of many fans. So what's the harm of bringing Simon back for even just a little cameo on the show? Well, the TV mogul has at least one pretty good reason why he shouldn’t come back. When asked again about Page’s prospective return, she told Variety:
Shonda Rhimes has indeed said as much in the past that the star's return wouldn't make sense for the show. But the show's creator, Chris Van Dusen, sorta teased at one point that “some really interesting things” could theoretically happen in Season 2, with Page himself adding to the hype. Alas, I guess I was leaning too much into hope? It seems as though previous speculation from the cast – that we will only hear Page's character being “referred to” – is what is actually going on.
To be fair, Shonda Rhimes is right – Regé-Jean Page is a hot commodity at the moment and should capitalize on it while he can. Since appearing on the Netflix series, he has starred in the Russo Brothers’ upcoming film The Gray Man, as well as Dungeons & Dragons alongside Chris Pine. Page is also consistently in the conversation regarding who'll play the next James Bond, although he has some serious competition. His co-star, Phoebe Dynevor, has likewise parlayed her success into other projects on the horizon.
What we do know about the show's second season (apart from the leading man not being in it) is that a certain Sex Education actress will be the new love interest to Anthony Bridgerton, who takes center stage from his sister. Apparently, it's a very love-hate kind of thing, much like how Daphne and Simon’s romance was – so maybe the star's absence won’t be as dire as fans think it is. Furthermore, the actress behind Lady Whistledown’s schemes has teased that the Season 2 finale is “heavy,” with the drama “amped up a lot.”
Bridgerton’s second season is expected to premiere on Netflix sometime next year. With any hope, if there's to be no Regé-Jean Page, fans can, at least, expect the same spirit of his sex appeal.
Freelance writer. Favs: film history, reality TV, astronomy, French fries.
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