According to the Hollywood Reporter, the production team did reach out to Page, who originally only had a one-season contract, in hopes of negotiating a deal for him to return after he cemented his status as a fan-favorite quickly after the release of Bridgerton. He was allegedly offered the chance to guest star in three to five episodes of Bridgerton‘s second season with a paycheck of $50,000 per episode.
Sources say that Page turned down the offer for a “multitude of reasons,” which may include the actor’s increasingly busy filming schedule. After his breakout role as the Duke of Hastings, Page quickly secured roles in Netflix’s upcoming film The Gray Man and Paramount Pictures’s feature adaptation of Dungeons & Dragons.
While Page’s departure surely was a shock for fans hoping to see him return, his character would have taken a backseat in the second season as the focus will switch to Anthony Bridgerton’s journey to find a wife (as outlined in the second book in the Bridgerton series, The Viscount Who Loved Me).
While the new season won’t be the same without Page’s swoon-worthy Duke, remember he’ll be there whenever we binge-watch the first season for the millionth or so time.
feature image via los angeles times