Regé-Jean Page’s fan-favorite Simon Basset, Duke of Hastings is noticeably absent from Bridgerton’s second season. But will he return for season 3?
Caution: Spoilers Ahead for Bridgerton season 2 and beyond.
Will Regé-Jean Page’s Simon Basset return for Bridgerton season 3? After the success of Bridgerton season 1, which combines Regency-period romance with modern sensibilities, fans were left wondering if the enigmatic Duke of Hastings would come back. Though Bridgerton season 2 does not feature Simon, the answer to whether everyone’s favorite duke will return may lie in recent interviews and in Julia Quinn’s book series, upon which the television show is based.
The Bridgerton books focus on all eight of the Bridgerton sisters and brothers and kick off with Daphne (Phoebe Dynevor) finding love with Simon Basset in the first installment, The Duke and I, which was the premise for season 1. Page’s casting as Simon, the brooding, charismatic royal who at first is adamant about remaining unmarried and childless, made him a breakout star. While Simon’s relationship with Daphne was deemed toxic, their love story captured viewers’ attention, so much so that Simon’s onscreen absence is felt in Bridgerton season 2.
Currently, Regé-Jean Page is not expected to return as Simon in Bridgerton season 3. After an official Instagram announcement that Page would not be returning as Simon Basset, the actor, in an April 2021 interview with Variety magazine, said his involvement in Bridgerton was always intended to be “a one-season arc.” Bridgerton executive producer Shonda Rhimes also weighed in on Page’s departure in another interview with Variety, admitting he wouldn’t have much to do in following seasons and would be relegated to the background.
The Bridgerton Books Don’t Leave Much Space For A Simon Return
As each book in the series follows a different Bridgerton sibling, it would make it difficult for the fan-favorite duke to have a meaningful storyline woven into the television series. However, in a November 2021 interview with British GQ, when asked if he could return as Simon, Page said, “You know I couldn’t tell you! Isn’t there something wonderful about being surprised by what you weren’t suspecting?“
Simon Basset’s presence in the Bridgerton books wanes as the series continues, so it makes sense that his character would not be included in the show after season 1. Book 2 of the Bridgerton series, entitled The Viscount Who Loved Me, follows eldest sibling Anthony’s relationship with Kate and has Simon appearing briefly with Daphne in the Bridgerton family Pall-Mall match. In Bridgerton season 2, only Daphne is present for the game. Later in the book series, Simon is mentioned only by name but makes his final appearance in Romancing Mister Bridgerton, assisting Colin in identifying Lady Whistledown.
Fans of Regé-Jean Page’s performance as Simon should not mourn his onscreen absence on Bridgerton. Even though he’s since walked back his GQ comments, saying that wouldn’t mind seeing another actor take Simon’s part for any future appearances, Page is attached to several high-profile projects, including The Gray Man and Dungeons & Dragons. Simon stans can still get more than their fill of Page’s suave demeanor.
Rene Jean Page Is Happy For Another Actor To Replace Him As Simon
It’s also possible that if Bridgerton season 3 did see the Duke of Hastings return, he wouldn’t be played by Regé-Jean Page. In a Variety interview at The Gray Man‘s premiere, Page was asked about whether Simon would ever cameo with Daphne in future seasons, and the actor asserted that “they’re free to do as they like,” even if it means recasting his fan-favorite role. Given Page’s previous comments about being happy with where Simon’s arc left off, this comment makes plenty of sense. Should Bridgerton have need of Simon Basset again for story reasons (which still seems doubtful), audiences could very well see a new face in the role.
Bridgerton season 2 is streaming now on Netflix.
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