In a move that may be shocking to Bridgerton fans who fell in love with the series and its leads during Season 1, but also makes sense for any book fans, news broke today that Rege-Jean Page has left the Shondaland show as it preps to begin production on Season 2. There is good news, however, as the exit of Simon would seemingly lead to the exit of Daphne on the series, though that does not seem to be the case. In fact, Phoebe Dynevor will be back for the next go ‘round.
In a message, Bridgerton Lady Whistledown informed readers that Rege-Jean Page will not be returning for Season 2. Information about what Daphne will be up to was also included in the post.
Reportedly, Rege-Jean Page's exit from Bridgerton was planned from the beginning. According to a separate interview with Variety, Rege-Jean Page says he was pitched on one year from the beginning, noting that made Bridgerton feel like more of a limited series. He said:
It’s a one-season arc. It’s going to have a beginning, middle, end – give us a year. [I thought] ‘That’s interesting,’ because then it felt like a limited series. I get to come in, I get to contribute my bit and then the Bridgerton family rolls on.
Bridgerton fans will already know that Simon and Daphne's story is over. Season 2, like the second book in source author Julia Quinn's story, is expected to focus on Anthony Bridgerton. If you've read the Quinn books, Simon and Daphne come up on occasion after their love story, but the show will certainly be able to go on without Rege-Jean Page. What's more intriguing to me is how the show plans to keep incorporating Daphne moving forward.
Now the Duchess of Hastings, Daphne will likely have more of a side role in the intrigue, but I'm interested to see what that means. Scenes where she sort of was introduced to the "adult world" in society were some of my favorite parts of Season 1 and I hope that arc continues. It's also worth pointing out that Simon will not be killed off the series, he'll simply be more of a shadow character, which should also theoretically mean the door would be open for him to return if his schedule were open and there was interest.
Obviously, Bridgerton has been great for Rege-Jean Page's career. It's made him a household name and in the time since he's landed a role in the Russo brothers' upcoming movie with a stacked cast, hit an acting right of passage with a stint on Saturday Night Live and even somehow landed himself in the conversation for the next James Bond (as happens with most popular British actors, but still). Whether or not Rege-Jean Page's exit had been planned from the beginning, given the way the show's arc works, now that he's found new success he may not have stuck around anyway.
Though Bridgerton is a product of Shondaland, I'm not sure anyone involved knew quite how popular it would be heading in. Production is already gearing up on Season 2, and while Rege-Jean Page is exiting, the rest of the cast should be making a triumphant return. After all, most of their stories haven't even been told yet, dear reader.