Regé-Jean Page could’ve potentially made upwards to $250,000 if he returned for Season 2 of Bridgerton, according to a new report. The 31-year-old British actor was “offered an opportunity to return as a guest star” and reprise his role as Simon, the Duke of Hastings, for “three to five episodes” at a “rate of $50,000 an episode,” sources told The Hollywood Reporter on April 7. To clarify, this would only be a “guest star” role because the Shonda Rhimes-produced Netflix series had always intended to focus on on a different Bridgerton sibling in each season. Given that Phoebe Dynevor‘s character, Daphne, already found love with Simon in Season 1, “sources say nearly everyone close to the show knew Page only had a one-year deal for Bridgerton,” the outlet added.“The plan from the start was for the sophomore season to be based on Quinn’s The Viscount Who Loved Me,” the report continued, referring to the second installment of Julia Quinn‘s book series that the Netflix show is based on. Staying true to the written work, the television adaptation’s sophomore season will focus on Daphne’s older brother Anthony Bridgerton, and Regé-Jean “never planned to be part of the story,” according to THR.
What wasn’t planned, however, was the level of stardom Regé-Jean reached after Bridgerton went on to break Netflix viewership records following its premiere in Dec. 2020. So, “the production reached out to Page’s camp in January or February with an offer to return — after he and the show broke out — even though plans for season two never included his character, Simon,” the sources in the report claimed.However, Regé-Jean reportedly passed up on the payday because he’s now “laser focused on his burgeoning film career,” the sources told THR. His team has been “flooded with film offers following his breakout role in Bridgerton,” the report added, which said that’s the reason Regé-Jean nabbed a coveted hosting gig on Saturday Night Live in February. HollywoodLife has reached out to Regé-Jean’s rep for a statement on this report.
Regé-Jean already has a roster of exciting films coming out, too, all featuring big names: he just finished filming the Netflix film The Gray Man, which was directed by the famous Russo brothers and will also star Ana de Armas, Chris Evans and Ryan Gosling. Next on his plate will be shooting the Paramount feature Dungeons and Dragons alongside co-stars Chris Pine, Michelle Rodriguez and Justice Smith. Regé-Jean has even sparked buzz that he’ll be playing the next James Bond (such rumors seem to be rooted in betting at the moment, though).
Regé-Jean’s exit from Bridgerton shouldn’t exactly be a surprise, either, considering what he has said in a recent interview. “It’s a one-season arc. It’s going to have a beginning, middle, end – 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 told Variety after announcing that he was leaving the show on April 2.
Regardless, that didn’t stop countless fans from expressing their shock over the news. Even Kim Kardashian wrote, “What is happening!!??? How can this be?” Well, if true, it looks like this new report answers those questions.