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The Real Reason Rege-Jean Page Isn't Returning For Bridgerton Season 2

Bridgerton, produced via the magic touch of Shonda Rhimes, became an instant hit on Netflix. Set in 1813 Regency London, fans loved the music, the incredible period fashion, and of course, the gorgeous leading man, Rege-Jean Page. His portrayal of Simon Bassett, Duke of Hastings wowed audiences, and he became the series' breakout star. 

When Page announced he would not be returning for the hotly anticipated season 2, fans were disappointed, and wondered why he would walk away from the series that made him a star. However, it turns out he was only supposed to star in one season all along, originally signing just a one-year deal with Netflix.

Bridgerton is based on Julia Quinn's book series of the same name, where each book covers the life of one of the eight Bridgerton children. As book 1 focuses on the love story between Page's Simon Bassett and Daphne Bridgerton (Phoebe Dyvner), Page never expected to have a significant role in the series after season 1.

Rege-Jean Page wants to focus on his film career

After Bridgerton became Netflix's most watched original series ever, and Page became a fan favorite, it's no wonder the studio wanted to bring him back for season 2, even though his character was never planned to be involved. In fact, The Hollywood Reporter shared that Rege-Jean Page was allegedly offered an opportunity to guest star in season 2 at a rate of $50,000 per episode. However, he declined.

Page initially signed on to Bridgerton because the role was a "one season arc" with a "beginning, middle, and end," giving him the opportunity to join the show, "contribute my bit and then the Bridgerton family rolls on" (via THR).

Now, Page is sticking with his initial career ambitions, taking his star power from Bridgerton and focusing on building a film career. Sources close to Page's team have said he has no shortage of film offers coming his way, and he appears eager to explore the big screen. He recently wrapped filming the Russo brothers' Netflix film The Gray Man, opposite Chris Evans, Ryan Gosling and Ana de Armas. Next, he'll be headlining Paramount's big-budget Dungeons and Dragons feature, opposite Chris Pine, Michelle Rodriguez and Justice Smith. 

We'll miss seeing Page's Simon Bassett on our screens during Bridgerton's next season, but we can't wait to see all the exciting projects he has lined up.