Why Bridgerton’s hottest property said no to season two

Why Bridgerton’s hottest property said no to season two

Regé-Jean Page isn’t returning to Bridgerton because he disliked the plans producers had for his character, the Duke of Hastings.

A Hollywood source told Page Six that the actor won’t be returning to Bridgerton because of “creative differences with [executive producer] Shonda Rhimes and her team”.

“He wasn’t happy with what was planned for his character for Season 2, which would have kept him a player but not the focal point of the show.”

Page has also been “inundated with offers for other interesting and challenging leading roles”, the source continued.

Despite these “creative differences”, Page is leaving the show on good terms.

Originally signed on with a one-year deal to play male lead Simon Bassett, the Duke of Hastings, Page was drawn to the show because of the role’s “one-season arc” with a “beginning, middle, end”, he told Variety.

The recent announcement of his departure from the popular Netflix drama - watched by 82 million households worldwide - left fans distraught ahead of the second season.

Show creator and script writer Chris Van Dusen hoped both the Duke (Page) and Daphne Bridgerton (Phoebe Dynevor) would return following their romance in the show’s debut season.

“I would love to be able to see them again and also at the same time explore the other brothers and sisters of the family,” Van Dusen told The Hollywood Reporter.

The British actor was reportedly offered an opportunity to return in Season 2 “as a guest star in three to five episodes'' but turned it down, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Although he had several reasons, this included “an awareness that Simon would not be a focal point in Season 2.”

Instead, Page is focusing on his movie career and has been offered a flood of film offers. He is also set to star in the upcoming film Dungeons and Dragons alongside Chris Pine, Michelle Rodriguez, and Justice Smith.

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In his farewell to the show, posted along with a picture of himself on horseback as Simon, Page wrote, “The ride of a lifetime. It’s been an absolute pleasure and privilege to be your Duke. Joining this family - not just on screen, but off screen too.”

“Our incredibly creative and generous cast, crew, outstanding fans - it’s been beyond anything I could have imagined. The love is real and will just keep growing.”

As for Bridgerton, the next season will see the return of Dynevor playing Daphne Bridgerton, though the focus will be on eldest brother Anthony Bridgerton, played by Jonathan Bailey, and his quest for marriage.

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