Shonda Rhimes has addressed the shocking reaction from Bridgerton fans after learning that Regé-Jean Page will not be returning for season 2 of the show.
In a recent interview with the LA Times, Rhimes first noted she was "really shocked" over the fans reaction of heartbreak upon learning their favorite character would not be returning to the widely popular Netflix series. She said:
"I don't know that I expected this much of an explosion, given that every book [in the series] is a different romance."
Rhimes explained his absence is mostly due to the structure of the source material, which is the original 8-book series written by Julia Quinn.
While the Duke of Hastings continues to appear in the series, his character does not play as pivotal of a role in the plot of the proceeding books. Because of this, Rhimes felt his presence is not necessary going forward in the television adaption.
She also commented on the initial contract they had with the actor, confirming they had made a one-season deal with him from the beginning of season one.
The producer said:
"[Regé-Jean] is a powerful, amazing actor and that meant we did our job. Every season, our job is finding the right people and putting together this incredible, world-shifting romance. I mean, really: what would Regé-Jean do, you know what I mean? We gave them their happily ever after! And now we have this next couple coming."
Read the initial announcement that shocked fans around the world, made on Friday, April 2:
Pleasure and a privilege! An honour to be a member of the family - on and off screen, cast, crew and incredible fan… https://t.co/YNy8VZfoH0— Regé-Jean Page (@Regé-Jean Page) 1617380993
In better news, the series has also recently been renewed for a third and fourth season with Netflix.
Season two of the show is slated to begin shooting in London this spring. The season will focus on Daphne's brother, Anthony. Rhimes also reminds us in the interview the upcoming season is about a new "hot couple," giving us room to fall in love all over again and possibly get over our breakup with Regé-Jean Page.
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