'Bridgerton' Star Rege-Jean Page Not Returning for Season 2 of Netflix Series

Regé-Jean Page, who became a breakout star after the premiere of Netflix's Bridgerton in [...]

Regé-Jean Page, who became a breakout star after the premiere of Netflix's Bridgerton in December, will not be returning for the second season of the show. In classic Bridgerton fashion, the news was announced by Lady Whistledown in a message shared to the show's official social media accounts on Friday, April 2.

"While all eyes turn to Lord Anthony Bridgerton's quest to find a Viscountess, we bid adieu to Regé-Jean Page, who so triumphantly played the Duke of Hastings," Lady Whistledown wrote. "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 bear."

Sources told Deadline that Page was contracted through Season 1 of the show and it was always the plan for him to only appear in the first season, which was based on the first Bridgerton book, The Duke And I. Page starred as Simon, the Duke of Hastings, alongside Phoebe Dynevor's Daphne, and their romance was the center focus of the first group of episodes. Daphne will continue to be part of the series and Simon will be referenced, though he will not appear. Page's role in the Netflix show led to an enormous surge of popularity for the actor, and he won an NAACP Image Award and is nominated for an individual SAG Award for his role. He is also reportedly potentially in contention to take over the role of James Bond after the departure of Daniel Craig.

Bridgerton follows the Bridgerton siblings, and Season 2 will document the pursuit of a suitable marriage for eldest sibling Anthony (Jonathan Bailey), which was chronicled in the second book of Julia Quinn's Bridgerton series, The Viscount Who Loved Me. Simone Ashley has been cast as Anthony's love interest, Kate Sharma. Bridgerton was adapted for Netflix by showrunner Shonda Rhimes, who signed a deal with the streaming service in 2017. After the Season 1 premiere, the show became Netflix's biggest series ever with 82 million households globally watching the first season, partially or in its entirety, in the first four weeks.