With Bridgerton Season 2 set to drop on Netflix today, fans of the hit series are more than a little excited to see how this second round of stories will play out. Returning us to a fictionalized version of Regency Era London, the show will pick up with another look into the titular family and the matchmaking that goes on in the upper reaches of this society. But one noticeable absence will be Season 1 star Rege-Jean Page who played the Duke of Hastings, Simon Basset. Considering how big his story was the first time around, it’s no small thing to have him gone this time around, though the show will work to explain why he is no longer in the picture.
Essentially, Rege-Jean Page as Bassett will still exist in the Bridgerton world, but we aren’t going to see him anymore. The actor was only contracted for one season of the series from the outset meaning his story was always going to be a one-and-done. It’s how the stories in the franchise are set up and while we will remain in the world with the family, the focus will shift to other characters. The plan is to still mention him in passing, but his screen time (at least for now) has come to an end. Rege-Jean Page’s on-screen wife Daphne (Phoebe Dynevor) will still make appearances by visiting the family, mentioning her marriage to Simon, but that will be the extent of his participation.
Because of the nature of the way the Bridgerton stories are set up, this shouldn’t be all that weird of a turn for the series. The show is based on the book series by Julia Quinn, and each novel focuses on another character in the family. This second season will be based on her second novel in the series The Viscount Who Loved Me with Jonathan Bailey’s Anthony now becoming the primary focus of the season. This leaves Rege-Jean Page non-essential when it comes to the overall arc. Again, this was always the plan for the show and will be so in subsequent seasons as well.
That being said, Rege-Jean Page was a big part of the first season of Bridgerton’s success. His somewhat accidental courting of Daphne and their eventual relationship was the heart of the season, a massive reason that viewers tuned in in droves to watch. The show became the most-watched original series on Netflix with an estimated 82 million people tuning in for the first 28-day window. It was eventually passed by Squid Game, but it still remains one of the platform’s premier offerings.
As for Rege-Jean Page, he’s set to star in a couple of movies over the next year or two. The first is The Gray Man which features a loaded cast of Ana De Armas, Ryan Gosling, Chris Evans, and Billy Bob Thorton in a story about a group of assassins all on the hunt for each other. And then there will be Dungeons & Dragons which will adapt the popular game to the big screen. So big things are on the way for the actor, but his time on Bridgerton is now over.