The Bridgerton Recast That Would Shock All the World — Except for Soap Fans
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Regé-Jean Page is out for Season 2. If he stays out and the Netflix hit wants to continue Simon and Daphne’s love story, the show’s only sensible move is clear.
Bridgerton was an instant hit on Netflix when it debuted last Christmas. In fact, the series, set in Regency-era London, was the streamer’s most watch series — until the phenomenon called Squid Game came along. Bridgerton‘s success was due in large part to the show’s many charismatic performances, like the one from fan-favorite Regé-Jean Page, who played the dashing Simon Basset, a.k.a. the Duke of Hastings.
Unfortunately, for those who fell in love with the Duke, Page isn’t returning for the highly anticipated second season. But that doesn’t necessarily mean the end of the character. As any good soap fan will tell you, a recast is always an option, especially if the show decides to check in with season one’s “it couple” Daphne and Simon for a third season, which is a presumed sure thing.
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Page’s exit shouldn’t have come as too big of a shock though — at least to fans of the book series, penned by Julia Quinn. Since each novel focuses on a different Bridgerton sibling’s romance, each season of the series will do the same. So, while Daphne and Simon’s love story was the main focus of season one, season two will feature the romantic journey of Daphne’s brother, Anthony. Even in the books, Simon’s presence was minimal after he and Daphne got their happily ever after.
Despite Page originally only planning to appear in one season, the series creator, Shonda Rhimes did ask if he’d like to return for more. “Rightfully, he said, ‘I signed up to do this one lovely story, this closed-ended storyline. I’m good,’” Rhimes recounted to Variety.
“And I don’t blame him for that,” she continued. “I think that he was really smart to leave the perfection as the perfection.”
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Besides, the actor has kept busy since shooting Bridgerton. Page will soon be seen in the movies The Gray Man, starring Chris Evans (Captain America) and Ana de Armas (No Time to Die), and Dungeons & Dragons starring Chris Pine (Wonder Woman) and Michelle Rodriguez (The Fast and the Furious).
However, should the creatives behind Bridgerton decide to listen to the fan outcry and bring the popular Simon back for more story in season three, a recast would be the logical move. Soaps are famous for it. It’s even been done in primetime. Just ask Bewitched’s Darrin, Dynasty’s Fallon, Roseanne’s Becky, The Fresh Prince’s Aunt Viv, and Batwoman’s Kate Kane.
In fact, we have a few suggestions for who could step into the role should Simon be written into future seasons. Take a look through our Simon recast suggestions, from both the daytime and primetime worlds, in the photo gallery below and tell us who, if anyone, you think could nicely step into the role.
<p>Yes, yes, we know. The Daytime Emmy winner is busy as hell playing <em>The Young and the Restless</em>’ Devon. But surely, the CBS soap would give the former child star (<em>Family Matters</em> — hello!) a pass to step into the spotlight that Netflix’s <em>Bridgerton</em> would provide.</p>
<p>What’s that, you say? The movie star is too big-time for even a hit series like <em>Bridgerton</em>? As if. Streaming services like Netflix have a knack for attracting A-listers like the <em>Black Panther</em> villain who got his start playing Reggie on <em>All My Children.</em></p>
<p>Let’s not mince words, shall we? The heartthrob’s got not only the acting chops but the abs to fill — <em>and</em> slip out of — Regé-Jean Page’s period costumes. All the <em>Days of Our Lives</em> regular needs is a chance to list the Duke of Hastings on his IMDb page next to Eli.</p>
<p>Not only does the <em>Grey’s Anatomy</em> leading man have the looks and the charm to take over for Page, he’d probably have the easiest time in the world getting a break from the ABC drama, seeing as its creator Shonda Rhimes is <em>also</em> an executive producer on <em>Bridgerton</em>.</p>
<p>If you ask us, <em>General Hospital</em> has never quite utilized TJ’s portrayer to his full potential. But he’d certainly be put to the test by a part as complicated and combustable as that of Simon, a royal who carries with him a lifetime of pain, thanks to his dad.</p>
<p>With HBO’s <em>Insecure</em> wrapping with Season 5, the hottie will be free to raise temperatures on a new show. And <em>Bridgerton</em> EP Rhimes already knows just what a charisma machine he is, owing to his role on another of her series, <em>How to Get Away With Murder.</em></p>
<p>Though the <em>Guiding Light</em> alum is best known for his long run as homophobic Veronica’s embattled gay son on <em>The Haves and the Have Nots</em>, he’s more than sharp enough a performer to make an audience believe his Simon could sweep Daphne off her feet — <em>and</em> keep all of London on its toes!</p>
<p>On everything from <em>How to Get Away With Murder</em> to <em>The Bold and the Beautiful</em> — he was Zende from 2015-17 — the up-and-comer proved that he could throw sparks with a brick wall. So he’d have <em>less</em> than zero trouble keeping the fires burning in the duke and duchess’ marriage.</p>
<p>We’d sooner get bucked than take the handsome actor away from Paramount Network’s hit, <em>Yellowstone</em>, where he plays ranch hand Colby. But we also love the idea of seeing him saddle up in a leading rather than supporting role — you know, like Simon.</p>
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