Regé-Jean Page left a massive hole in Bridgerton fans’ hearts last week when the show announced the Duke of Hastings would not be returning for Season 2. It was a Lady Whistledown letter that shocked the world, including the likes of Kim Kardashian who had just gotten around to a binge-watch!
Now that we’ve all had a little time to dry our eyes, many media experts and viewers alike are dissecting just why the breakout star may have stepped away from the show… and, of course, preparing for all the new roles fans can watch the hunky actor in!
Following the streamer’s big announcement, Page explained to Variety he was never supposed to be on the Netflix hit for more than a year. When signing contracts for the show, he recalled executives saying:
“It’s a one-season arc. It’s going to have a beginning, middle, end — give us a year. [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.”
All that sounds fairly reasonable, except when you take into account the fact that Bridgerton quickly blew the streamer’s records to the ground, amounting in views from over 82 million households. Perhaps the producers didn’t know the gem they had when signing contracts, but you’d think they would fight harder to hold onto it now that they’ve seen the public’s admiration! After all, the role of Lafayette in HBO‘s True Blood was also supposed to be a one season arc, but Nelsan Ellis absolutely crushed it and changed the character’s fate entirely! For real! He became a series regular because he was THAT much of a fan favorite. But, sigh, we digress…
Alas, the Shonda Rhimes produced show already announced it was moving forward like the book series by following a new royal’s quest to find love in Season 2. And while it’s sure to be a sexy, dramatic season as Lord Anthony enters the dating world, without the Duke, it’s uncertain if all fans will return. Darrell Miller, an attorney at Fox Rothschild who negotiates contracts for talent, told Los Angeles Times said on Friday:
“It is a cardinal rule to have options on the lead actors in a series. This situation is extremely unique and it could blow up the show and turn off many female viewers who loyally watched Season 1 because of Regé-Jean Page.”
Yeah, no kidding!! The show was phenomenal on its own, but Regé-Jean certainly brought a certain kinda eye candy to the screen!
(By the way, we polled ourselves and votes were split! Half of you said you would NOT return for Season 2 without your favorite steamy stud.)
While he will supposedly be mentioned as having a life off-screen — especially since Phoebe Dynevor will reprise her starring role — the 31-year-old’s presence will undoubtedly be missed. But hopefully not for too long as Regé-Jean has been busy filming lots of high-profile roles. Page is expected to star in a Netflix spy thriller alongside Ryan Gosling and Chris Evans soon. Filming just wrapped with ensemble cast members including Billy Bob Thornton and Ana de Armas. He also landed a role in the Russo brothers’ The Gray Man. Fans of Dungeons & Dragons can anticipate the Brit’s gig in an upcoming role-playing game inspired flick starring Chris Pine, Michelle Rodriguez, and Justice Smith.
And of course, we’re all still hoping those James Bond rumors are true, though the actor already denied the possibility of stepping into Daniel Craig‘s shoes once he retires from the action franchise following the release of No Time To Die. Taking the chatter as a compliment for his success, the performer said on The Tonight Show:
“I think the internet thinks a lot of things, and that is one of the more pleasant ones so I can be pleased as far as that goes. But I don’t think it’s much more than that. I’m very, very glad to have the badge. I’m glad to be in such wonderful company of people who have the badge. But it’s a badge.”
But if you just can’t wait long enough for these new movies to drop, here are a few (already released!) suggestions where you can fall in love with the former Duke all over again…
FOR THE PEOPLE
Another Shondaland hit! Page stars in 20 episodes of this prime time series!
While Bridgerton stans were entranced by the Duke’s royal courtship, many may have missed this other romance drama that premiered on the same day! Starring Tessa Thompson and Nnamdi Asomugha, this 1950s love story will have you in your feels. And Regé-Jean plays a drummer!
Need another does of history? Check out the actor’s US acting debut in this 2016 remake of Roots.