Is Dan Stevens really going to leave “Downton Abbey” after three seasons? We still don’t have a definitive answer to that, but the man responsible for creating the show is doing his best right now to make it clear that even he is unsure just what will happen.
Speaking in a new interview with Entertainment Weekly about the Stevens situation, Julian Fellowes is very careful to not mention the actor’s name, which makes some sense given that there are some other actors out there at the moment in Maggie Smith and Michelle Dockery whose own futures are currently a little bit ambiguous:
“Sometimes actors feel they want to move on. Initially, for the first two or three [seasons] you can contract them, but after that, every season, you have to re-contract them. If they don’t want to come back, there’s nothing we can do.”
Fellowes also made it clear that in the event that Stevens does decide to stay in New York and do theatre and film, he would not recast his beloved role of Matthew Crawley:
“I can’t see us doing that. I think we’ll go on jogging quite happily through the 20s. You know there’s always a little time jump. We did two years between [seasons] one and two because we only wanted to spend two years in the war so we had to start halfway through the war.
“Now we don’t have those imperatives. Sometimes you just have a few months so that there can be a few things that have happened in between that you can refer to, and have a slightly back-story for one or another character, but we don’t have the same imperative to leap forward.”
If we were to share our own personal opinion on Stevens’ future on the show at this very moment, we would be willing to wager that the actor will indeed come back for at least an episode or two so that the story can reach its proper conclusion. A prompt departure would not only cause him to lose some goodwill with fans, but would also destroy any sense of finality with a character that he obviously worked very hard to craft over the years.
Do you think that Stevens should return, and do you imagine that he will? If you want to read some more of the latest “Downton Abbey” Christmas special news, you can do so over at the link here.