Is Dan Stevens leaving Downton Abbey?

by Jennifer Barton

What will happen to Mary? According to reports, Dan Stevens - aka Cousin Matthew - has refused to sign on for a fourth series of Downton Abbey and is swapping stately homes for Manhattan's streets as he prepares to star in a Broadway show.

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The actor has relocated his family to New York, where he will be starring alongside Jessica Chastain in The Heiress on Broadway, which opens later this month.

‘New York for me is going to be one big adventure. I will be taking the whole family out and we will be there for six months. I don’t know if I will be returning to Downton,' Stevens has said.

Reports that Stevens, 29, might not return to Downton for a fourth series first surfaced in March along with rumours that Dame Maggie Smith, who plays the Dowager Countess of Grantham, would not be signing on for another season.

Stevens' role in Downton Abbey as Cousin Matthew Crawley has been pivotal in series three, which began with Matthew's wedding to Mary and has seen Stevens' character rescue Downton from financial ruin and start to take the initiative on running the ill-managed Downton estate.

In August, award-winning Downton creator Julian Fellowes confirmed that he is planning a fourth season of the show, saying:

'I am sure there will be a fourth series, yes, although it hasn’t yet been confirmed officially.

‘But it’s a definite yes in my heart and I would be writing it and I have a pretty good idea of what I would do with it too.’

Fellowes also revealed last month that he is planning a prequel which follows the courtship between Cora and Robert, the Earl and Countess of Grantham.

The massive success of Downton stateside has meant that Broadway and Hollywood have come a-calling with offers for cast members like Stevens as well as co-stars Michelle Dockery (Lady Mary), Jessica Brown Findlay (Lady Sybil) and Joanne Froggatt (maid Anna Bates).

Watch this space for all the latest Downton updates!

Can Downton survive without Cousin Matthew? Let us know what you think in a comment below.


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