All the drama that happened when Regé-Jean Page left Bridgerton on Netflix

He reportedly turned down £250k to be in season two

In April last year we were hit with what, at the time, was some of the worst news possible – Regé-Jean Page had left Bridgerton and we just wanted to know WHY. But that really was just the start of the saga, as loads came out in the news about things that may have happened in the lead up to his departure.

True Bridgerton stans were quick to point out he isn’t in the books beyond the first one, but still, Netflix very rarely sticks to book series it adapts very strictly, and the Duke had became unprecedentedly popular after the show (no guesses as to why). We all thought there must have been a way he could have stayed, but no.

So, here’s everything that happened when he left the show, and why the Duke isn’t appearing in season two.

Why Regé-Jean Page left his role as the Duke of Hastings on Bridgerton and isn't in season two

via Netflix

So, why did Regé-Jean Page leave Bridgerton and what happened when he left?

Announcing the heartbreaking news at the time on Twitter, Netflix said: “Dearest Readers, 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. 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.”

Regé-Jean Page added: “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.” Sharing a further explanation of his exit, Page said: “It’s a one-season arc. It’s going to have a beginning, middle, end—give us a year.”

Then the rumour mill went into overdrive. It was reported Regé-Jean Page turned down a pretty impressive sum of £250,000 to appear in the show’s second season. A source close to the show told The Hollywood Reporter he was offered an opportunity to return as a guest star in three to five episodes of season two, but declined for “a multitude of reasons.” He was offered the gig at £50,000 an episode, so if he accepted the top offer of being in five, he would have been paid a quarter of a million pounds for his appearances.

He was thought to have turned down the opportunity as he wanted to focus on his career in film. He has since been in Netflix film The Gray Man and Paramount’s Dungeons and Dragons and, according to The Hollywood Reporter article, had been “flooded” with offers since Bridgerton first aired.

It was reported it was always the plan for the Duke of Hastings to only be in one season of the show, following the Julia Quinn novels the series is based on. However, sources said the production team at the show reached out to Page in January or February of 2021 with an offer to return – after it was seen how popular he and the show had been.

Why Regé-Jean Page left his role as the Duke of Hastings on Bridgerton and isn't in season two

via Netflix

It was later said Page had left the show over a “disagreement with producers” over the future of his character, the Duke of Hastings, and “refused” to come back. A Hollywood source told Page Six: “Regé is not coming back 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 two, which would have kept him a player but not the focal point of the show.” The source concluded Page still left the show on good terms, despite “creative differences”.

In an interview with Variety, Shonda confirmed Regé was invited back for more, but doesn’t think the Duke will ever appear on the show again: “He’s an enormous star now,” she said. “As I like to say, the idea that we would write Regé to stand around in the background doesn’t make any sense at all to me. ‘What would he do?’ is what I like to say.”

Regé-Jean Page later said that he had “respectively exited” the cast’s WhatsApp group. “I didn’t want to put them in an awkward situation where they had to kick me out,” he told GQ. “The universe has expanded, so I’m no longer in it.”

Season two of Bridgerton is available on Netflix now. For all the latest Netflix news, drops, quizzes and memes like The Holy Church of Netflix on Facebook. 

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