Dan Stevens will not be returning for a fourth season of the show beyond appearing in the Christmas special and the first episode of the new series
Sad news for fans of Downton Abbey’s Cousin Matthew: romantic lead Dan Stevens will not be returning for a fourth season of the show, beyond appearing in the Christmas special and the first episode of the new series.
Hot on the heels of the announcement that ITV’s most successful period drama will be back for another season, reports that Stevens, who plays Lady Mary’s husband Matthew Crawley, will exit the show, surfaced, although ITV has yet to confirm his departure.
‘Dan Stevens isn’t returning to the series. He will probably do the first episode of the fourth series, but that will be it,’ a production source told the Sunday Express.
It is thought that Stevens, who is currently starring on Broadway in The Heiress opposite Jessica Chastain, will still appear in the two-hour Christmas special, which will focus on the Grantham family’s trip to Scotland for a holiday while the servants are left at home.
While there are still plans to make five series of the show, the source also told the Express there have been some financial hurdles: ‘The American network NBC, which owns the production company which makes the show, basically bankrolled the first series. There was talk it didn’t want to put in so much money this time. Even with all this there are still plans to do five series.’
Rumours that Stevens and co-star Dame Maggie Smith might not return to the show first surfaced in March, and there have been particularly lucrative Hollywood offers for the show’s young stars, including Michelle Dockery (Lady Mary) and Jessica Brown Findlay (Lady Sybil). It is also uncertain whether Dockery will return for another season.
Downton writer Julian Fellowes recently revealed he penned Lady Sybil’s tragic and sudden death in childbirth after learning that Brown Findlay wanted to pursue her Hollywood career and would not be returning to the show.
Will you tune in to Downton Abbey season four and the Christmas Day special? Let us know in a comment below.
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