Well, it appears that the heir to Downton Abbey might just be on his way out. Dan Stevens, who plays cousin Matthew Crawley, is rumored to be exiting the venerable British soap. A production source told UK’s Sunday Express, “Dan Stevens isn’t returning to the series. He will probably do the first episode of the fourth series, but that will be it.” ITV, the network that airs the series in the UK, would neither confirm nor deny Stevens’s departure. However, he is expected to appear in the two-hour Christmas special airing this December in the UK. The annual special is described by those close to the production as a tearjerker.
The series has had financial issues in the past, as the American network NBC, which owns the production company which makes the show, bankrolled series one. There are current talks that NBC doesn’t want to invest nearly as much money for the upcoming fourth series as it did in the past, although there are still plans to do a total of five series.
Stevens, who is currently starring on Broadway in “The Heiress”, has not confirmed plans to leave the series. However, similar rumors plagued Stevens in series three, so there’s still a possibility this could all just be baseless speculation. I really don’t know how they could get around writing him off the show, given how much of the narrative of the series pivots around him. I suppose we’ll see in the coming months, when series four goes into pre-production.
Would you watch Downton Abbey without Dan Stevens? Can the show plausibly go on without him?
(MAJOR SEASON THREE SPOILERS for US residents in the following article, so click at your own risk)
Full story available at: Sunday Express
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