Regé-Jean Page has explained why his character Simon, Duke of Hastings, will not be returning for Bridgerton season 2.
The news that Page would not be back was unveiled by the Bridgerton Twitter account, along with a confirmation that Phoebe Dynevor's Daphne would still be a part of the story. According to The Hollywood Reporter, though, Page actually turned down a guest star role for season 2.
The publication's sources say Page declined the spot that would have seen him paid $50,000 an episode for three to five episodes in the second season "for a multitude of reasons." They also include that Page's deal was for one year, and the plan was always for each season to focus on a different Bridgerton sibling's love life.
Your Grace, it has been a pleasure. 💜🐝 pic.twitter.com/kX1nIG8pz7April 2, 2021
Speaking to Variety earlier in April, Page revealed why season 2 doesn't need the Duke of Hastings – which is probably at least partly his reasoning for reportedly turning down the guest star role.
"It's a one-season arc. It's going to have a beginning, middle, end – give us a year," he said, in reference to talks with Shondaland producers. "[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."
Page also spoke about how the conventions of stories such as Bridgerton's lend themselves to complete, happy endings. "One of the things that is different about this [romance] genre is that the audience knows the arc completes," he said. "They come in knowing that, so you can tie people in emotional knots because they have that reassurance that we're going to come out and we're going to have the marriage and the baby."
It makes sense that Page might not want to return for season 2 – both for the story reasons he outlined and because his career seems to be taking off. He's set to appear in The Gray Man, the upcoming movie from Avengers: Endgame directors Joe and Anthony Russo, which also stars Chris Evans, Ana de Armas, and Ryan Gosling. Page is also set to star in Dungeons & Dragons with Chris Pine and Hugh Grant, and it was reported earlier in the year that Page is among the bookmakers' favorites to become the next James Bond.
"I have nothing but excitement for Bridgerton continuing to steam train off and conquer the globe," Page continued. "But there is also value in completing these arcs and sticking the landing."
Bridgerton season 2 doesn't yet have a release date, but you can find your next binge watch with our guide to the best Netflix shows.