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Bridgerton continues to make headlines, as Shonda Rhimes addresses rumors concerning Regé-Jean Page’s exit from the show.

Fans of the hit series were overjoyed when Netflix announced season 2, but soon after news hit, showrunners also revealed Page would not return. Needless to say, the latter didn’t go over so well.

Apparently, there isn’t any ill will — Bridgerton producers are simply following the storyline of the novels that inspired the series. Some reports state Page was given the option to return, but turned Bridgerton down because his original deal only included a one-season arc and now he’s already booked for other projects.

In a new Vanity Fair interview, Rhimes is addressing Page’s popularity and the rumors surrounding his exit.

On disappointed fans:

“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! [Regé-Jean] is a powerful, amazing actor and that meant we did our job—every season, our job is finding the right people and putting together this incredible, world-shifting romance. I don’t know that I expected this much of an explosion, given that every book [in the Bridgerton series] is a different romance. What would be the ever-after of this combo? I mean, really: What would Regé-Jean do, you know what I mean? We gave them their happily ever after! And now we have this next couple coming. And so yeah, I was like, whoa!”

On the possibility of Page returning:

“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. Anything else that was extra and wasn’t really the plan when we started wasn’t the plan when we finished. [Rhimes later clarified that Page was invited to return for season two cameos, along with a few other season one characters outside the Bridgerton family.] So there’s a lot of fantastically interesting talk that’s been going on, mainly cause I think people are having a hard time letting go.”

Rhimes went on to note Page is a very busy man, which I’m sure we can all appreciate. If you don’t know what all the hype is about, be sure to tune into Bridgerton on Netflix. Set in the Regency Era of London, the series follows several royal families as they attempt to marry off their eldest children and secure new, powerful alliances.

ALSO: Happy Birthday, Queen | Interesting Facts About The Life & Times Of Shonda Rhimes

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