Downton Abbey star Dan Stevens, who played the romantic lead character of Matthew Crawley, has already finished a play and is now filming a movie, according to an article in the London Telegraph. But to millions of fans around the globe including Great Britain, the United States and even China, Stevens will always be the Downton Abbey heir Matthew Crawley who died in a car crash as he drove home the same day his son was born.
The nation of Great Britain was literally reduced to tears of shock and denial at observing the dapper husband of Lady Mary rubbed out of the plot only moments after he'd kissed her and their baby good-bye for the last time in the final episode of season three. To show how seriously the show is taken, members of Parliament had actually taken to making references to characters in the show during their debates.
One member of Parliament was heard to make a joke referring to the butler Carson in the series, saying, "Carson would never approve of your behavior."
The UK got the bad news in December of 2012 when the third season finished in Britain. American fans were just as traumatized when they heard the news last night when the final episode aired on PBS.
One woman in the United States reportedly said she burst out crying only after her husband did at the sight of Matthew Crawley lying dead at the roadside after a truck crashed into his automobile on a country road leading to Downton Abbey.
Literally thousands of fans in the U.S. tweeted, posted and e-mailed their displeasure last night after witnessing the tragic death of Matthew Crawley. Many reacted as though a member of their own family had been lost. Several threatened to not even watch season four of the season which is currently filming in England.
The incredible popularity of the show has led to it being showed in China next season.
Many e-mails requested that director and writer Julian Fellowes place Crawley in a deep coma instead of killing him off. Then at some later date he could dramatically awaken from his coma and re-appear in the series. Others have suggested he could just take an extended business trip. And others have recommended having his death only be the part of a nightmare had by wife Lady Mary.
While the debate rages on, actor Dan Stevens has been incredibly busy starring in a Broadway play and listening to movie offers pour in. The Cambridge-educated actor recently completed his role in the "Heiress" opposite Jessica Chastain on Broadway. The play is an adaptation of the Henry James novel Washington Square. Stevens played the character of Morris Townsend, who may or may not be a fortune hunter.
Many observers in New York said they had a difficult time adjusting to Stevens playing someone other than Matthew Crawley. But his popularity has become so great as a result of his Downton role, that his applause was equal to that of all the movie stars who also played with him on stage.
When Stevens signed up for the Downton role he was neither a household name nor a heartthrob. His passionate relationship with Lady Mary on Downton has catapulted him to stardom both in the US and the UK.
Stevens is now busy filming the movie regarding Wikileaks Editor in Chief Julian Assange. Stevens will be playing a role based on British journalist Ian Katz, deputy editor for newspaper The Guardian in a Hollywood production. Assange allegedly collaborated with The Guardian over the release of some 250,000 top secret US diplomatic cables in 2011. Assange had a falling out with the newspaper before being given asylum at the Ecuadorian embassy in London. Sweden wanted to extradite him on rape charges.
Reports are that Stevens may also star in a movie with Liam Neeson.
Whether or not it would be possible to fit some appearances in for Downton Abbey between his movie scenes remains to be seen. But with the fan outrage over his death, it's likely the producers of Downton Abbey would love to work some sort of compromise out.
With even the British Parliament and the Prime Minister taking such an interest, maybe they could pass some sort of legislation which would order the movie directors to release Stevens back to Downton Abbey long enough to resurrect the character of Matthew Crawley.
Why not bring him back. It's been done before. Remember Dallas?
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