After devouring season one of Bridgerton, fans were clamoring for the return of Netflix’s Regency-era series. But after the recent news that Regé-Jean Page would not be returning for a second season, we don’t know what to expect from the upcoming episodes. The first season of Shondaland’s runaway hit followed Daphne Bridgerton’s (Phoebe Dynevor) entrance into the marriage market, which culminated with her and the Duke of Hastings (Page) saying “I do” and welcoming a child. On April 2, however, it was announced that Page would not be reprising his role but that Dynevor would be back for a second season. “While all eyes turn to Lord Anthony Bridgerton’s quest to find a Viscountess, we bid adieu to Rege-Jean Page, who so triumphantly played the Duke of Hastings.
We’ll miss Simon’s presence onscreen, but he will always be a part of the Bridgerton family,” a message was posted to Twitter revealing Page’s exit. “Daphne will remain a devoted wife and sister, helping her brother navigate the upcoming social season and what it has to offer — more intrigue and romance than my readers may be able to bear.”
Season 2 of Bridgerton, which begins filming this spring, plans to turn the focus to Daphne’s older brother, Anthony (Jonathan Bailey), as did The Viscount Who Loved Me, the second book in Julia Quinn’s series on which the show is based.
“It’s just going to get more exciting and convoluted and sexier, I think,” Bailey told ET of Bridgerton‘s second season. “[It will] be pushing boundaries every single way. The story is going to be really exciting.”
The story itself is largely unknown, but viewers can take some clues from The Viscount Who Loved Me, which follows Anthony after his decision to tie the knot. In the book, Anthony and his would-be wife’s biggest obstacle is her sister, Kate Sheffield, who’s described as a “spirited schemer” who’s “the most meddlesome woman ever to grace a London ballroom.”
“Having read the second book, if Anthony gets to meet anyone half as brilliant as Kate Sheffield is, then he’s going to be a very lucky man,” Bailey said.
Meet someone similar to Kate Sheffield he will, but in Bridgerton she’ll be called Kate Sharma and be of Indian descent. The reimagined role will be played by Sex Education‘s Simone Ashley, and is described by Netflix as “a smart, headstrong young woman who suffers no fools — Anthony Bridgerton very much included.”
“I think [Bridgerton creator] Chris Van Dusen has got this amazing ability to take Julia Quinn’s extraordinary books and her amazing worlds that she delicately filled with excitement and sexiness… to a whole other level,” Bailey said. “So the fact that we’re following Anthony’s pursuit for love shows that you know there’s definitely going to be some similarities [to the book].”