Bridgerton Furor Over Regé-Jean Pages Season 2 Exit Left Shonda Rhimes ‘Shocked’ – ‘The Duke Is Still Alive!’
Shonda Rhimes is shocked that Bridgerton fans are so shocked by the news that breakout star Regé-Jean Page won’t be returning in season two – in part because it’s not like the Duke of Hastings is off a city bus was hit in Seattle.
Netflix (via Lady Whistledown) announced earlier this month that Page would not appear as Simon Basset in Season 2 – a move that was widely expected given the triple-renewed time frame that Sudser awaits the next chapter of the triple-renewed time frame, Lord Anthony Bridgerton’s (Jonathan Bailey) search for a bride. (That is, Page’s leading lady, Phoebe Dynevor will be back as “Daphne will remain a devoted wife and sister helping her brother navigate the upcoming social season and offerings.”)
Although the books have predicted Page and Simon’s absence, many fans feel deprived of one of the show’s main attractions.
Contrasting Bridgerton’s backlash with what she’s seen over the years when ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy insulted one character or another, Rhimes told Vanity Fair, “I was really shocked because it usually happens when I kill someone who’s been around for a while. We didn’t kill [the Duke], he is still alive!”
Rhimes confirmed that Page had only signed a one-season deal over and over, despite being invited to return for season two cameos – allegedly at $ 50,000 per pop, although according to some reports he turned it down because his character wasn’t in Would be the focus. “[T]There’s a lot of fantastically interesting conversation here, especially because I think people have a hard time letting go, ”said Rhimes. “He’s a very busy man!”
Rhimes said that the passionate response to Page’s absence in season 2 shows that when all is said and done, Shondaland did its job right. “He’s amazing, but that’s our job and something that [production partner] Betsy [Beers] and I’ve been doing it for … well, god, has it been 20 years now? Guys find – I mean, hopefully women too – but find men who our audiences find devastatingly attractive and to whom they become incredibly attached, and they get mad when we move them in any way. “