Dearest Readers, by now you’ve heard the news that most likely caused you a Cressida Cowper-esque fainting spell: Regé-Jean Page respectfully declined Shondaland and Netflix’s invitation, and will not be returning to Bridgerton for its second season.
If that isn’t true Duke of Hastings style, nothing will ever be.
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Trust us when we say that even we were shocked by this announcement and for a moment questioned if April Fools Day happens a day later in England. Unfortunately, it doesn’t. So, let us all take today to mourn this news, rewatch Bridgerton for the millionth time (especially episode 6), create YouTube fan video tributes put to Sarah McLachlan’s “I Will Remember You,” and unsuccessfully start online petitions calling for renegotiations of Regé’s contract. Whatever gets you through today, you do you.
But with this news, you can’t help but wonder now that the waistcoats and top hats are off, what is on the horizon for Regé-Jean Page. We do know that he’s planning on staring with two of The Chrises™️ in upcoming films: The Gray Man alongside Chris Evans, and Dungeons and Dragons with Chris Pine. Well played, you D&D nerds. You stole Simon Basset from us. Well played, indeed.
However, we suspect there is more on Mr. Page’s plate than just these two future films and after seeing his turn as host on Saturday Night Live, which typically recruits well-known and established celebrities, there is definitely a future beyond Bridgerton for Regé-Jean. What could that look like?
Before you start with the obvious (Hint: He’s British, refuses to be streamed, and is already coveted by another series actor who most likely has his name and the titular character set on a Google search alert), let’s think outside the box because Regé-Jean already did and his response to this possible casting is absolute perfection:
— The Cool Table Has a Podcast Now! (@thecool_table) March 9, 2021
Move beyond the “B” merit badge. Think big. The Mouse Money big.
The Disney Theory™️
Buckle up, my fellow nerds.
After the shocking and heartbreaking death of Chadwick Boseman, Disney and Marvel knew that the Black Panther himself, King T’Challa could never be replaced. In fact, Marvel Studio chief Kevin Feige confirmed that the role would never be recast and that per Chadwick’s family’s wishes, he would not be CGI’d in the upcoming sequel, slated to be released in 2022. So, who will take up the mantle of the Black Panther?
While many speculated that T’Challa’s sister, the STEM savvy Shuri (played by Leticia Wright), would take on the crown, that storyline may pose some problems. The newly crowned Black Panther must journey to the Ancestral Plane, gaining wisdom and insight from past leaders. If Marvel moved in this direction, T’Challa would have to be in that dimension and Shuri would most likely want to connect with her brother. Without Chadwick Boseman, this poses a problem.
However, Marvel and Black Panther have a loophole in this storyline: a warring tribe can challenge for the crown and whoever wins will become the Black Panther, which allows this Avenger and the franchise to continue. Now who in the world would have both the acting range and physicality to carry on this mantle, as well as be young enough for a possible multi-deal franchise?
Enter a newly available Regé-Jean Page.
Does he have the range? Please watch Bridgerton episode 5 and swoon with me during his impassioned speech to Queen Charlotte. Range, baby. Range.
Does he have the physical strength for the role? Let us all not forget what happened to our collective minds when this image was released:
And at 31 years old, he has both the youth and stamina to carry on this branch of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Bonus is all that charisma he could bring to interviews and comic cons, making us fall in love with him even more.
No matter what happens, we’ll miss the Duke of Hastings. He may be gone from the show, but he’ll forever live in our Netflix “Continue Watching” queue.
How are you handling the Regé-Jean Page news? Let us know your thoughts! Crave more Bridgerton? Click here for all our Bridgerton coverage!
Julie believes great books should be read more than once and prides herself on finding the "dirty part" in any romance novel under a minute. Loves red wine but loves it more when shared with friends. Has an (embarrassingly) extensive knowledge about all things Brooklyn Nine-Nine and New Girl. Is currently curating the perfect playlists that ALWAYS include a song from one of the Twilight soundtracks.