Regé-Jean Page who was the breakout star of the first season of Bridgerton, is currently promoting Netflix action movie The Gray Man, alongside Ryan Gosling, Chris Evans, and Ana de Armas. When asked about Bridgerton, he has said that Shonda Rhimes is free to recast Simon, the Duke of Hastings if she and the rest of the team wishes.
Because the first season of Bridgerton became such a phenomenon so quickly, Page was inundated with offers, and therefore was too busy to return for the second season. He will be appearing in Dungeons & Dragons alongside Chris Pine and Hugh Grant, which is set for release in 2023. He has also been cast in a reboot of 60s TV series The Saint, originally played by Roger Moore.
Speaking of Bridgerton, Page was asked by Variety what he would think if they said “we still want Simon, and you don’t want to do it, which is fine, so recast him” and Page responded; “They’re free to do as they like. Shonda and I had a wonderful conversation at the end of season one. We were quite happy with how we stuck the landing on that one.”
“We did so well on that redemptive arc that people forget that Simon was kind of horrific. He was the best example of a Regency fuckboy that any of us had come across. And so, because we came around full circle so well, because we stuck that landing, you’re left with this great feeling. You really do have to be brave about ending stories like that.” It was slightly awkward that Simon’s wife Daphne (Phoebe Dynevor) and baby were in the second season, and Page’s absence had to be briefly explained away and then not referred to again. Therefore, recasting could be a potential solution to this going forward.
The Bridgerton TV series has deviated from Julia Quinn’s books in several ways, not least the fact that Penelope (Nicola Coughlan) and Colin (Luke Newton) will be the focus of the third season, not Benedict (who is at the centre of the third book).
While we wait to find out more about the third season, check out our guide to the Bridgerton cast.