Did the Duke of Hastings get too big for his britches? Regé-Jean Page quit Bridgerton ‘because of creative differences with Shonda Rhimes’ over his character ‘not being the focal point of the show’ in season 2, source claims
- A source told Page Six that Page ‘wasn’t happy with what was planned for his character’, Simon Basset, in the second season of the Netflix hit
- The insider added that he left on ‘good terms’ despite the ‘creative differences’ with Rhimes, the woman behind other hits like Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal
- Bridgerton’s second season will focus on Anthony Bridgerton, unlike the first, which was centered on the Duke of Hastings’ romance with Daphne Bridgerton
- There had been speculation that the 31-year-old British actor had quit the show because he was in the running to take over the role of James Bond
- Page addressed the rumors last week, saying that he was ‘flattered to be in the category of Brits that people have noticed’, but giving no other information
- It has been reported that Page was offered up to $50,000 an episode to appear in the second season of Bridgerton in a supporting role
- The actor – who was skyrocketed to global stardom after appearing in the show — said that he had only ever planned to be part of a ‘one-season arc’
Bridgerton star Regé-Jean Page’s shock departure from the hit Netflix show came after a fallout with executive producer Shonda Rhimes over ‘creative differences’.
The 31-year-old actor left fans heartbroken when he revealed earlier this month that his character, the Duke of Hastings, would not be returning for the second season of the popular period drama — prompting furious speculation that Page was in the running to take over the role of James Bond.
However, a source has now claimed to Page Six that Page’s decision to quit Bridgerton was actually sparked by tension with Rhimes over the fact that his character was not going to be the ‘focal point’ of the second season.
‘Regé is not coming back to Bridgerton because of creative differences with Shonda Rhimes and her team,’ a ‘Hollywood source’ told the publication.
‘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.’
Gone: Bridgerton star Regé-Jean Page’s shock departure from the hit Netflix show came after a fallout with executive producer Shonda Rhimes over ‘creative differences’
‘Regé is not coming back to Bridgerton because of creative differences with Shonda Rhimes and her team,’ a ‘Hollywood source’ told Page Six
Famous: Page played Simon Bassett, the Duke of Hastings, in the first season, which centered on his character’s romance with leading lady Daphne Bridgerton, played by Phoebe Dynevor
Page shot to global stardom after appearing as handsome heartthrob Simon Bassett, the Duke of Hastings, in the first season of the show, which centered on his character’s romance with leading lady Daphne Bridgerton, played by Phoebe Dynevor.
Netflix said in the first 28 days that the show was online, it was streamed in 82 million households.
In January, Netflix renewed the hugely popular series for a second season — but much to the disappointment of Page’s most dedicated fans, Bridgerton’s social media accounts announced earlier this month that Page would not be a part of it.
‘Dear Readers,’ the notice — written by Lady Whistledown herself — began. ‘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.’
Rhimes, meanwhile, added: ‘Remember: the Duke is never gone. He’s just waiting to be binge watched all over again.’
Page Six’s source insists that Page is leaving on good terms, even if he and Rhimes didn’t see eye to eye.
‘If you look at all the big names who have left Grey’s Anatomy in the past, you see you don’t disagree with Shonda, nobody is bigger than the show,’ the source added.
They also noted that Page has plenty of other things on his plate, having ‘been inundated with offers for other interesting and challenging leading roles.’
Page recently won the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series, and was also nominated in the same category at the Screen Actors Guild Awards.
While Page may have been uninspired by the direction of season two, the show does seem to be following the outline set out by author Julia Quinn, the writer behind the popular romance novels on which the series is based.
Each book in the series follows the love story of a different Bridgerton siblings, starting with Daphne in ‘The Duke and I’ (Book 1) and moving on to Anthony in ‘The Viscount Who Loved Me’ (Book 2).
Page’s character appears only briefly in Book 2, with the upcoming season focusing on Anthony, playing by a returning Jonathan Bailey, and Kate, played by Sex Education’s Simone Ashley.
The subsequent six books follow the love stories of Benedict, Colin, Eloise, Francesca, Hyacinth, and Gregory.
Ooh-la-la! Fans went wild for the sultry sex scenes in season one
All good: Page Six’s source insists that Page is leaving on good terms, even if he and Rhimes didn’t see eye to eye
A source said Page has plenty of other things on his plate, having ‘been inundated with offers for other interesting and challenging leading roles’
In an interview with Variety this month, Page insisted he was only ever contracted for one season of the show — and indicated that Simon and Daphne’s tidy happy ending was part of why he signed on in the first place.
He said producers had pitched him a ‘one-season arc’ with ‘a beginning, middle, [and] end’ and asked him to ‘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,’ he said.
As for the future, he added: ‘I have nothing but excitement for Bridgerton continuing to steam train off and conquer the globe.
‘But there is also value in completing these arcs and sticking the landing,’ he added.
Still, the Hollywood Reporter reports that Page ‘was offered an opportunity to return as a guest star in three to five episodes of Season 2 — at a rate of $50,000 an episode — but declined for a multitude of reasons.’
Page is set to star is several other upcoming projects, including the just-announced Dungeons & Dragons flick with Chris Pine, Michelle Rodriguez, and Justice Smith/
He is also currently filming the Netflix movie ‘The Gray Man,’ which will also star Ryan Gosling, Billy Bob Thornton, and Alfre Woodard.
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