A lot of Bridgerton fans were shocked when it was announced last week that breakout star Regé-Jean Page will not be back as Simon Basset, the Duke of Hastings, for season 2 of the hit Netflix series. But what exactly is the reason for the actor’s departure from the period drama?
According to Variety, Page was only contracted for one season of the show, so the actor knew right off the bat that he would only appear in one season of the series. And he’s more than fine with that, as the short-term nature of the role of Simon was actually one of the reasons why he joined the project in the first place.
“It’s a one-season arc. It’s going to have a beginning, middle, end – give us a year,” Page told the news outlet, recalling the early conversations he had with Shondaland producers who offered him the role of Simon after the two-season run of For the People wrapped up. “[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.”
Like the many readers of Julia Quinn’s novels on which Bridgerton is based, Page thinks that the web series is essentially an anthology, as each book of the source material is dedicated to a different sibling’s love story. For instance, Quinn’s first book The Duke and I centers on the love story of Simon and Daphne Bridgerton (Phoebe Dynevor), which ultimately concluded at the end of the first season.
Simon will continue to live on in the Bridgerton world as Daphne’s husband, but he will no longer appear on screen, as season 2 will focus on Anthony (Jonathan Bailey), the oldest of the Bridgerton clan, and his quest for love. Based on Quinn’s second book The Viscount Who Loved Me, the new batch of episodes will introduce the fan-favorite character Kate Sharma (Simone Ashley) as Anthony’s love interest.
While fans won’t be seeing Simon in season 2, his wife Daphne will still be around. As pointed out in the announcement of Page’s exit from the show, “Daphne will remain a devoted wife and sister, helping her brother [Anthony] navigate the upcoming social season.”
Your Grace, it has been a pleasure. 💜🐝 pic.twitter.com/kX1nIG8pz7
— Bridgerton (@bridgerton) April 2, 2021
Page may not be coming back for Bridgerton season 2, but the British-Zimbabwean actor has a couple of upcoming projects that are sure to delight fans. He recently finished filming on the Russo brothers’ Netflix spy thriller The Gray Man, which also stars Ryan Gosling and Chris Evans. Page is also set to take on the lead role in Hasbro and Paramount’s Dungeons & Dragons, a film based on the popular role-playing tabletop game of the same name.
Bridgerton season 2 doesn’t have a release date yet but if the series is able to stick to its production schedule and start filming this spring, the show’s sophomore run will likely be released sometime in early 2022.