Dan Stevens

Life After Downton Abbey: Dan Stevens Heads to the Big Screen

Many Downton Abbey fans around the world are processing the fact that star Dan Stevens will not be returning to the megahit costume drama for Series 4. We’re all dealing with that in different ways. For some of us, it involves eating a lot of ice cream, or indulging in embarrassing late night Series 1 marathons, or obsessively stalking tracking the actor’s every post-Crawley family move. Sometimes all three. (Not that I know anything about this personally. Cough.)

And Stevens has certainly been busy since departing Downton, with a variety of different projects, some of which sound quite interesting. Want to know what he’s been up to since leaving hunting dogs and period costumes behind? Click through for more – but if you still haven’t seen the Downton Abbey Series 3 finale for some reason , you’ll probably want to bookmark this post for later, because it’s got SPOILERS in it.

First Look at Sherlock Star Benedict Cumberbatch as Julian Assange

Production has officially begun on That WikiLeaks Movie with Sherlock’s Benedict Cumberbatch. Now known as The Fifth Estate – presumably to avoid having to pay the licensing fee to David Bowie to use previously rumored title The Man Who Sold the World - the film is set to dramatize the controversial life of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange after the 2006 launch of the WikiLeaks website. (Personally I’m rather sad about the loss of the previous title, if only because it seems a much better fit.)

Written by The West Wing alum Josh Singer, the film is based on the books Inside WikiLeaks: My Time with Julian Assange at the World’s Most Dangerous Website and Wikileaks: Inside Julian Assange’s War on Secrecy. Bill Condon, most recently of The Twilight Saga, is directing and has assembled an all-star cast that’s positively bursting with familiar faces and talent, including Daniel Bruhl, Laura Linney, Anthony Mackenzie, David Thewlis, Peter Capaldi, Dan Stevens and more. Translation: it’s got “awards bait” written all over it.

Still and all though, since this movie is basically the reason that production on Sherlock Series 3 got pushed back, it better be excellent, right? Weigh in for yourself below and get your first look at Cumberbatch as Assange – yes, complete with trademark white-blonde hair. It’s a bit of an adjustment to be sure (and a look that I doubt will set many teenage girls screaming a la his appearance in Star Trek), but oddly, creepily Cumberbatch really does looks like Assange. It’s merely unfortunate that Assange himself is, in fact, a bit creepy looking. See the larger version below.

Sherlock and Downton Abbey Collide: Dan Stevens Joins the Cast of Benedict Cumberbatch’s Wikileaks Movie

 

Sherlock and Downton Abbey fans have something to celebrate this holiday season – the news that their favorite leading men are going to be in a film together!

Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch was confirmed to star as the infamous Julian Assange in a biopic about the whistleblower’s life earlier this fall, and now it looks like Downton’s Dan Stevens will be joining the film’s all-star cast as well. Hip hip hooray!

Tentatively titled The Man Who Sold the World, the film will be directed by Bill Condon and written by West Wing alum Josh Singer, based on the books Inside WikiLeaks: My Time with Julian Assange at the World’s Most Dangerous Website and Wikileaks: Inside Julian Assange’s War on Secrecy. It will dramatize the tumultuous years in Assange’s life following the launch of the notorious Wikileaks site in 2006. The site went on to leak anonymous corporate and government documents from around the world to the public and, as a result, Assange is currently seeking asylum at the Ecuadorian embassy in London. Want more details? Read on.

The Downton Abbey Rumor Mill: Whither, Dan Stevens?

It’s been kind of a rough couple weeks for British television lovers everywhere. First Merlin gets cancelled, then Sherlock Series 3 filming gets pushed back and now there’s a very unsettling rumor going around (again) about everyone’s favorite costume drama Downton Abbey.

Americans everywhere are eagerly awaiting the premiere of Series 3 in the States in just about a month and the news that Series 4 has already been commissioned by ITV has been greeted with widespread excitement worldwide. Therefore, it’s extra hard to contemplate this particular rumor, which is a bit on the upsetting side. Take this with a gigantic grain of salt considering the source, but the Sunday Express has reported that Downton leading man Dan Stevens will not be returning for Series 4. (Warning: there are major Series 3 spoilers in that Express article, so tread carefully if you want to read more over there.)

The charismatic actor, who plays Matthew Crawley, is extremely popular with fans and one-half of the show’s central romantic relationship, opposite Michelle Dockery’s Lady Mary. The Express quotes a source as saying, "Dan Stevens isn’t returning to the series. He will probably do the first episode of the fourth series, but that will be it."

Um. What?

Well, first of all fellow Downton obsessives, let’s take a deep breath. There’s every reason to hope that this story isn’t actually something that will come to pass. I’ve gone on at some length before about the fact that the Express is not the most trustworthy of sources given their extreme reliance on citing seemingly random and unnamed “production sources,” so there’s every possibility that this story isn’t true. (Yes, this rumor has basically run everywhere, in every kind of entertainment publication over the past week. But those stories all track back to the Express as the initial source.) ITV has yet to issue any sort of statement or confirm or deny this report. All we have to go on are these “unnamed sources” who could realistically be anyone at all.

But…what if it is true? Can Downton Abbey survive without one of its biggest leading men? And, more importantly, would people still tune in? There are a lot of possibilities/issues to address on this topic, so bear with me and let’s hash it out.

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