Regé-Jean himself took to Instagram later that day to confirm his departure, calling the role the “ride of a life time.”
The stunning news of his exit led British bookmakers to slash the odds of him becoming Bond, putting him neck-and-neck with such A-listers as Tom Hardy, according to British media outlets.
Even before it was revealed that he would not return to Bridgerton, Regé-Jean had been fielding queries about possibly trying on Bond’s tux. “If you’re a Brit, and you do something of any kind of renown that people regard well, then people start saying the ‘B’ word,” he told Jimmy Fallon in January, echoing his recent remarks to The Mirror.
Meanwhile, his dance card has steadily been filling up, Bond or not. In March, Regé-Jean began filming the Netflix thriller The Gray Man opposite Chris Evans and Ryan Gosling. He is also set to appear with Chris Pine and Hugh Grant in a forthcoming Dungeons & Dragons film adaptation, which has a release date of May 2022.
In other words, there will still be plenty of ways to see him smoldering on-screen, even if he may or may not be doing it with a martini in hand.