Much of the Bridgerton fan community is still recovering from last week's news that lead Regé-Jean Page won't be back to play Simon Basset, the Duke of Hastings, at all in the upcoming Season 2 of the romantic drama. While that news hit the fandom pretty hard, even though the books that the show is based on do focus on different couples and he wasn't guaranteed to be around for the second season, Page has still been celebrating the show's success and was very gracious to fans and those behind the series after the news came out. Now, however, it sounds as though Regé-Jean Page's exit from Bridgerton might be more complicated than originally thought.
After the news broke about Regé-Jean Page not returning to be a part of the Bridgerton Season 2 cast, he noted that he was told from the start that his part would be for Season 1 only, and that he rather enjoyed looking at his time on the show as a short time thing with "a beginning, middle, end" which would feel like a limited series to him. But, it turns out that this idea of a "one-season arc" for Page's Duke may have changed once the producers saw how much of a breakout star he was in the role.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, sources close to the situation are now saying that Page and his team were contacted by Bridgerton's creatives in January or February, after it was clear that fans adored his turn as the Duke, and offered him a part in Season 2, even though the original plan for the upcoming set of episodes wasn't for him to return. It's said that Page was offered a guest starring role for Season 2, with him appearing in three to five episodes, and being paid $50,000 for each one.
But, Page declined to return at all, and if you think you know why, you're probably right. Not only has Regé-Jean Page been the most talked about star from Bridgerton Season 1, but his career has taken off as a result. And, the outlet's sources did note that he's now concentrating on film work. He was recently able to complete a role in the Russo brothers' upcoming Netflix film The Gray Man, which also stars Chris Evans, Ana de Armas, and Ryan Gosling, and will soon be filming Dungeons and Dragons with Chris Pine, Michelle Rodriguez, and others.
On top of that, many James Bond fans have made their desire for Page to take over that iconic role known, even though he doesn't believe it would be a "dream part" for him.
Basically, Page knows he's got heat on him right now that could help him continue to get film roles which will further his career, and he's decided to go that route instead of taking time out for Bridgerton Season 2, when his character wouldn't even be the focus, and has had his arc completed.
While it's still unfortunate to hear that Regé-Jean Page won't be back for more Bridgerton in the second season, at least it's good to know that there doesn't appear to be any ill will going in either direction, as the producers are said to be leaving the door open for his return in Season 3, should the show retain its megahit status and be renewed.