Bridgerton Season 2 is almost ready to begin production, and there was one shocking revelation. Rege-Jean Page, who had viewers swooning for eight consecutive episodes as Simon Bassett, will not be back in Season 2. The show did add several new actors to the cast, although Page is leaving behind some big shoes to fill.
The show, which was quickly renewed after the success of Season 1 on Netflix, but this time will focus on a different couple to fall in love with, as Daphne's older brother Anthony will take the lead. His new love interest is played by Simone Ashley. However, Daphne Birdgerton, her friends, enemies, lovers, and family will still play a role in the new episodes. Scroll on for a look at everything we know so far about the upcoming second season, which is coming later this year.
In early March, there was a rumor that filming already began, but star Nicola Coughlan clarified what is going on. "Not yet! Wigs and dresses yet to be made but soon," she tweeted on March 15. Considering how intricate the costumes were for the first season, this could take some time. Meanwhile, more news broke on Friday, April 2, when Netflix announced Page will not be returning as the Duke of Hastings. Netflix later revealed who will be playing Ashley's on-screen family.
The series is set in the Regency era of London when parents spent their time searching for the best matches for their children. It all begins when Daphne (Phoebe Dynevor) is presented at court, but she has no interest in the suitors lining up for her hand. Instead, she hatches a plan with Simon (Page). They agree to publicly appear to be courting one another, so Phoebe doesn't have to meet any more uninteresting men and Simon can keep his personal vow to never marry and have children alive. Of course, the two soon realize they have a genuine connection, and how they act on those feelings plays out in the rest of the season.
Bridgeton features an all-star cast surrounding Dynevor, and most of them will be back in Season 2. Adjoa Andoh, Jonathan Bailey, Sabrina Bartlett, Harriet Cains, Bessie Carter, Coughlan, Ruth Gemmell, Florence Hunt, Claudia Jessie, Ben Miller, Luke Newton, Golda Roshuvel, and Polly Walker also star in the series. Julie Andrews voices Lady Whistledown, the author of a notorious society letter. The author's true identity was not revealed until the very end of Season 1. The series is produced by Shonda Rhimes' Shondaland and was created by Chris Van Dusen. Now that you've watched all of Season 1, here is what we know about Season 2.
Rege-Jean Page is not returning
Pleasure and a privilege! An honour to be a member of the family - on and off screen, cast, crew and incredible fans - the love is real and will just keep growing ❤️💫 https://t.co/YBk4RvKNpx— Regé-Jean Page (@regejean) April 2, 2021
On April 4, Netflix shared the shocking news that Page will not be in Season 2. "We'll miss Simon's presence onscreen, but he will always be a part of the Bridgerton family. Daphne will remain a devoted wife and sister, helping her brother navigate the upcoming social season and what it has to offer - more intrigue and romance than my readers may be able to hear," reads the statement, credited to the fictional Lady Whistledown.
Page shared his own tweet. "Pleasure and a privilege! An honour to be a member of the family - on and off-screen, cast, crew and incredible fans - the love is real and will just keep growing," he wrote, adding heart and star emojis.prevnext
The major character Kate will be played by Simone Ashley
Get ready to fall in love with Simone Ashley, who will play Kate in Season 2 of Bridgerton.
Kate is a smart, headstrong young woman who suffers no fools — Anthony Bridgerton very much included. ` pic.twitter.com/xdVilOjL4Y— Netflix (@netflix) February 15, 2021
Bridgerton will introduce Kate Sheffield in Season 2, as Anthony's new love interest. Throughout the first season, Anthony was desperate to keep Siena (Sabrina Bartlett) as his lover, but he knew she would never fit in his realm of society. After seeing his sister get married, Anthony decided it was time to finally be serious. In Season 2, he will meet Kate, who is described as the "most meddlesome woman to ever grace a London ballroom" and a "spirited schemer" in the description for The Viscount Who Loved Me. At first, Kate is not interested, so he tries to court her half-sister to make her jealous.
However, in the series, Kate Sheffield will be Kate Sharma, continuing Bridgerton's color-blind casting. Simone Ashley will star as the new character. he is described as "a smart, headstrong young woman who suffers no fools - Anthony Bridgerton very much included." Ashley previously starred in Netflix's Sex Education as Olivia and had a small part in Pokemon Detective Pikachu.prevnext
Filming starts in Spring 2021, but there's no release date yet
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Less than a month after Bridgerton's stellar debut on Christmas Day, Netflix renewed the show for a second season. Shondaland released a special Lady Whistledown letter, which confirmed filming will start in Spring 2021. "This author has been reliably informed that Lord Anthony Bridgerton intends to dominate the social season," the letter reads. "I will have my pen ready to report on any and all of his romantic activities." The statement did not include a premiere date, but if Netflix hopes to catch lightning again, Christmas 2021 would be a nice target.
During a Today Show interview, Van Dusen said he thought the show provided the perfect escape for these difficult times, which is why it was such a hit. “It really provides an incredible escape for audiences at a time when I think that’s exactly what’s needed," he explained. "And Bridgerton is this lavish, vibrant, steamy Regency love story, and it is about romance and love and joy — and I think all of those things are really universal themes that people are responding to.”prevnext
Most of the original cast is returning
While Season 2 will introduce several important characters, many of the same ones audiences fell in love with will be back, including Page and Dynevor. "I think there are a lot of good stories to be told in this world," Page recently told OprahMag.com. "There are a plethora of characters and each of those characters has cousins, uncles, and dogs, and I think people enjoy exploring all of those depths and nooks and crannies."prevnext
Calam Lynch and Shelly Conn joined the cast
Bridgerton has added four actors to Season 2:
Charithra Chandran will play Edwina Sharma, Kate’s younger sister and Shelley Conn will play Mary Sharma, Kate’s mother.
Also say hello to Calam Lynch who will play Theo Sharpe and Rupert Young who will play Jack. pic.twitter.com/yVvgHYJ2AF— Netflix (@netflix) April 5, 2021
In April, two new stars joined the cast. Shelley Conn will star as Lady Mara Sharma, the mother of Simone Ashley's Kate Sharma. Calam Lynch will play Theo Sharpe, who is described as a "hardworking printer's assistant" who is "not just a working-class man," but also "an intellectual who fights for the rights for all." Catharina Chandran was also cast as Edwina Shama and Rupert Young will star as Jack, a new character not featured in the books the series is based on.prevnext
Anthony's love life will take center stage
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While the first season of Bridgerton was inspired by Quinn's book The Duke and I, Season 2 will mostly focus on the second book, The Viscount Who Loved Me. The book centered on Anthony, Viscount Bridgerton, and his search for love. This means fans of Jonathan Bailey's work in Season 1 will get to see a lot more of him. "We left him at the end of the first season at a bit of a crossroads, so I’m looking forward to jumping in and discovering how he fares on the marriage market," Van Dusen told Today. "I think it’s going to be as sweeping and moving and as beautiful as viewers of the first season have come to expect from the show."
In a recent British Vogue interview, Bailey said the new season will be "mad" and "brilliant," while also introducing viewers to a new side of Anthony. "There's a real humanity to him, too, that will hopefully come out in the next series," he said. "It's funny because even though Bridgerton is obviously a period drama, Anthony's story is quite modern in the sense that he's reached a point where he genuinely believes that love will never happen for him. That's where he is at the end of the first series, and that's such a common feeling right now."prevnext
The other Bridgerton children could be featured in future seasons
Quinn wrote eight books and created plenty of characters for Van Dusen and his writers to work with in future seasons. If Bridgeton lives past Season 2, you can bet on more in-depth stories about the other Bridgerton children. As anyone who has watched Season 1 can tell you, dear reader, Eloise (Claudia Jessie) needs her own spin-off. Eloise happens to be the lead character in the fifth Bridgerton book, To Sir Phillip, With Love.
"I'd love to be able to tell Eloise's story and Collin's story," Van Dusen told OprahMag.com. "[But] I want to explore the stories for all the characters, not just the Bridgertons. From the Featheringtons, who are amazing and so fun to write, to Lady Danbury's stories, and Queen Charlotte's."prevnext
Daphne and Simon still have a 'lot of growing to do'
Daphne and Simon's relationship was not exactly smooth sailing in Season 1. Even after they got married, things were rough for the two. That will continue in Season 2, Page told TVGuide, especially now that their relationship is entering a new stage as parents. "As far as continuing to explore characters, I think that love is an evolving thing," Page said. "It's a living, breathing thing that needs tending, that needs looking after, that needs mending when it gets worn or torn. They get married very young. They still have a lot of growing to do. They have a lot to do, and I think it'll always be fun to watch them do that together."
Van Dusen also told Vanity Fair the couple will be heavily featured in Season 2. "They’re the Duke and Duchess of Hastings, but they’ll always be Bridgertons in my mind. That means they’re always going to be a part of the show in some form or another," he said.prevnext
Adjoa Andoh compared one plot in Season 2 to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's romance
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Adjoa Andoh, who stars as Lady Danbury, compared Daphne and Simon's Season 2 plot to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's life. "I really can't say too much nor would you expect me to, but I guess what we do know absolutely is that they're married now. It's a new married life and they have the baby, so there are all the vagaries of what that is like for young people with a new baby," Andoh told Entertainment Tonight. "I mean Harry and Meghan, what's it like when you have a new baby? How does it affect you when [you are] a young couple with a new baby?"
Andoh also suggested there will definitely be more sexy scenes for fans to swoon over. Bailey previously told ET the second season will be more "convoluted and sexier," and Andoh could not disagree. "Let me tell you so, as Anthony Bridgerton, the eldest son, it's time for you Anthony! So if he says it's going to be sexy then he knows whereof he speaks because that boy's got to get hitched. So yeah, I don't think audiences will be disappointed, let's put it that way."prev