Fetch the smelling salts, O’Brien! This quote from Downton Abbey’s Dan Stevens in yesterday’s Daily Mail is bound to bring on fainting spells everywhere: “I don’t know if I will be returning to Downton.” NO! Not Matthew Crawley!
But hold on a second. Let’s interpret this statement for a minute. First of all, this is in context of Stevens making his Broadway debut in The Heiress, opposite Jessica Chastain, and clearly falling in love with New York City. “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.” So he could just be excited about this chapter in his life, and hedging his bets about what Julian Fellowes has in store for his character in the fourth and final season of the hit British series. After all, as we’ve just had spoiled for us, another major character has already croaked in season three.
Or, a more cynical person might point out, Stevens could be acting all Hollywood and stalling to get a better contract for season four, especially now that everyone wants to cast him in everything. (Please, everyone, cast him in everything.) If the powers that be have any sense, they’ll give him what he wants. Just hand over that whole estate — he went to war for you people.
Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes must have known he’d make fans across the globe froth at the mouth in excitement over his statements at a BAFTA Screenwriters’ Lecture. When the ITV series is over, he wants to write a prequel book. Which, we assume, would become another TV show.
“I do actually have an idea of doing a prequel of the courtship of Robert and Cora, when all those American heiresses were arriving in London,” he said, per the BBC. “They had a slightly troubled courtship, because she was in love with him before they married, as we know, and he married her entirely for her money.”
This sounds beyond fun. And immediately, we started dreaming up who could step into the roles made famous by Hugh Bonneville and Elizabeth McGovern. According to the very extensive Downton Abbey Wikia, Robert and Cora were about 20 when they got married. Based on that, these photos of Hugh and Elizabeth when they were younger (the earliest one of Hugh we have is from 10 years ago, when he was 39; this pic of Elizabeth is of her at about 25), and just our own personal wishes, we arrived at Matthew Lewis and Alexis Bledel. Since the end of Harry Potter, when everyone realized that Neville Longbottom was suddenly hot, we’ve been hoping to see more of Lewis. Bledel really looks like a young McGovern, and that bit we saw of her on Mad Men last season left us eager for more grown-up Rory Gilmore. What do you think? Share your own casting ideas with us on Twitter @VH1Celebrity! Read more…