Regé-Jean Page broke the hearts of millions of Netflix users across the globe when it was revealed earlier this month that he wouldn’t be back for Bridgerton season 2. The Shonda Rhimes-produced period drama was a hit for many reasons, but Page’s Duke of Hastings was definitely one of the biggest. While it was initially indicated that he would return for the next run of the show, the actor has confirmed that he’s instead moving on to new pastures.
As you’d expect, though, it sounds like Netflix was desperate to keep him on board. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the streamer offered the British star the option to return in a guest capacity in season 2, and they were even willing to cough up $50,000 per episode, but he ultimately turned it down. THR states that Page wants to move away from TV to focus on “his burgeoning film career.”
That focus seems to be going well so far, too. Netflix will be pleased that they’ve managed to snag him for a different project instead – upcoming thriller The Gray Man, opposite Chris Evans and Ryan Gosling (social media’s no doubt going to explode with those three stars sharing the screen) – and he’s also signed up to appear in Paramount’s Dungeons & Dragons movie, led by Chris Pine. Meanwhile, rumors persist that he could be the next James Bond or is on the cusp of joining the MCU.
Season 1 of Bridgerton followed the blossoming romance between Daphne Bridgerton (Phoebe Dynevor) and Page’s Simon Bassett. Even before the latter actor’s exit, it was always planned that the next run would shift focus to the eldest Bridgerton sibling, Anthony (Jonathan Bailey), as he looks for a bride, and despite Page’s absence, Dynevor will be back in a guest role as Daphne to advise her big brother on how to land his own love match.
Bridgerton season 2 is already in production and we can probably expect it to debut on streaming sometime around early 2022.