When Bridgerton debuted on Netflix during the 2020 holiday season, it was a massive hit, turning its stars into celebrities overnight. From Nicola Coughlan as Penelope to Jonathan Bailey as the brother everyone loves to hate, Anthony, the cast was the object of fans’ deepest affections. But none more so than Regé-Jean Page, the romantic hero of Season 1. Naturally, when the actor announced he would not be back for Season 2, fans were stunned, even though it was already well known the new season would feature a different couple. Now, just as fans are finally recovering from that announcement, Regé-Jean Page teased a possible Bridgerton Season 2 cameo, suggesting the Duke of Hastings isn’t totally out of the Bridgertons’ lives.
In case you you haven’t read them, the Bridgerton novels each focus on a different member of the extensive titular family, headed up by the widowed Lady Violet. Like the show’s first season, Book 1, The Duke and I, features Daphne (Phoebe Dynevor) and Simon’s (Page) romance, ending with the birth of their first child. But Book 2, The Viscount Who Loved Me, barely includes either half of the couple. Instead, the novel turns its attention entirely to Anthony’s (Jonathan Bailey) love story, with Daphne only occasionally appearing in the background.
The Bridgerton TV series’ brilliant conceit was to take the backstories of the novels that follow The Duke and I and seed them into subplots for the rest of the characters. Anthony, for instance, had his previous off-page relationship with an opera singer developed into a full-fledged romance in Season 1. Benedict (Luke Thompson) and Colin (Luke Newton) likewise had their eventual stories set up as well, and Eloise’s (Claudia Jesse) eventual love interest even got to show up for a couple scenes.
But even so, it turned out the team behind the Bridgerton screen adaptation did plan to follow the novels’ lead in letting characters fade out once their stories ended. That plan included only signing Page for the one season and then letting him go once Simon and Daphne were happily married and with a baby. But the uproar that followed Page’s announced exit made it clear the Duke’s fans would not let him go gently into the night.
Recently, Page suggested to British GQ that the outcry had made a difference. When asked about a possible Season 2 cameo, he first tried not to comment, insisting, “I couldn’t possibly tell you!” But when the reporter wouldn’t let to go, he gave a tease: “Isn’t there something wonderful about being surprised by what you weren’t suspecting?”
Currently, there’s nothing to suggest Page’s comments are any more just that: a tease. There’s no other indication Simon will show up in the season; Netflix has not commented either way. And with Page now cast in a remake of The Saint, as well as several other high-profile big-screen projects, it’s doubtful his schedule would allow for much of one as it is.
But fans will still hold out hope for a happy surprise. After all, those types of moments are what romance is made of.
Bridgerton Season 1 is streaming on Netflix. Season 2 is expected to debut in 2022.