Shonda Rhimes, the creative force behind Netflix’s Bridgerton, is setting the record straight about Regé-Jean Page‘s controversial exit from the smash hit series.
Fans of the steamy drama have been in mourning since Page announced he would not return for a second season as Simon, the Duke of Hastings.
The report sparked a flurry of rumors regarding what caused his untimely exit from the popular show and now, the series creator is telling fans the real reason why Page left.
“We made a one-season deal with him at the beginning of season one. That was the plan: come and do one season as the duke,” the Emmy-nominated producer explained in an interview with Vanity Fair. “Anything else that was extra and wasn’t really the plan when we started wasn’t the plan when we finished.”
Rhimes added that her series, which is based on the Bridgerton novels, isn’t just about the Duke of Hastings and Daphne, played by Phoebe Dynevor: It explores the entire Bridgerton family’s romantic conquests.
“Every book [in the Bridgerton series] is a different romance,” she noted. “We gave [Daphne and Simon] their happily ever after! And now we have this next couple coming.”
“The concept is that every season, there’s a couple and that couple is the hot couple that you’re falling in love with,” explained Rhimes, noting that there are “eight Bridgertons” whose stories are in need of telling.
As for how the showrunner feels about the fanbase’s reaction to Page’s departure, says Rhimes, “I was really shocked, because usually that happens when I’ve killed off somebody that’s been around for a while. Like, we didn’t kill him, he’s still alive!”
Bridgerton was recently greenlit by Netflix for a third and fourth season.
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