The Truth Behind Regé-Jean Page’s ‘Bridgerton’ Exit Isn’t That Complicated

Rege-Jean Page Netflix Bridgerton

It’s true that Regé-Jean Page really did show viewers what it means to burn for someone with his role as the Duke of Hastings in Netflix’s mega-hit Bridgerton, which makes his Season 2 absence even more devastating for his newfound fan base.

Despite the feeling of having a rug pulled out from under one’s self, Page’s exit isn’t all that complicated or unplanned. When it was announced that Bridgerton had earned a Season 2 renewal, Netflix made it clear that the spotlight would deviate away from Season 1’s main couple, Daphne Bridgerton (Phoebe Dynevor) and husband Simon (Page), and readjust to focus on eldest Bridgerton son, Anthony (Jonathan Bailey).

The Shondaland series is based on the Bridgerton books by Julia Quinn with Season 1 encompassing the events of The Duke & I, and Season 2 will chronicle the events of The Viscount Who Loved Me which tells Anthony’s love story with Kate Sheffield. Casting for Season 2 had already begun by the time news of Page’s exit surfaced, with Simone Ashley set to lead alongside Bailey in the adapted role of Kate Sharma (changed from Sheffield).

This would leave little screen time for Page either way, but according to The Hollywood Reporter, the actor only signed a one-year deal for the show, meaning he was never promised to return. Based on the outlet’s info, Page was reportedly offered a deal to appear in Season 2 as a guest star.

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The agreement would entail Page reprising his role over the course of three to five episodes at a rate of $50,000 per installment, but he was unable to sign for some fairly obvious reasons — the main one being he’s become a big star. The actor has committed to several buzzy projects including the Russo brothers’ Netflix movie The Grey Man in which he’ll appear alongside Chris Evans, Ryan Gosling, and Ana de Armas.

He will also feature in the highly anticipated Dungeons and Dragons with a cast that includes Chris Pine, Justice Smith, and Michelle Rodriguez. With more film opportunities, scheduling becomes a conflict, and with Page’s role being diminished in Season 2 anyway, it only makes sense that he’d pursue new avenues.

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Now with a SAG Award nomination tacked onto his resume, the industry is Page’s to conquer, but as Lady Whistledown’s announcement regarding the actor’s exit said, “We’ll miss Simon’s presence onscreen, but he will always be a part of the Bridgerton family.” So, pray for a third season because there’s always an opportunity for the Duke to return then. Until then, stay tuned for Page’s other upcoming projects.

Bridgerton, Season 2, TBA, Netflix