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Downton Abbey Alum Dan Stevens Reacts To Third Movie While Sharing Thoughts On Why The Franchise Is So Popular

 Dan Stevens as Matthew Crawley in Downton Abbey.
Dan Stevens as Matthew Crawley in Downton Abbey.

Downton Abbey may have ended as a TV show back in 2015, but this fictional world has lived on through the silver screen. The world has reunited with the Crawley family and their staff in two movies respectively released in 2019 and 2022, and earlier this month, Imelda Staunton, who played Lady Maud Bagshaw in both those features, revealed that Downton Abbey 3 is in the works. Keep in mind, this has yet to be officially confirmed, but Dan Stevens, one of the show’s original actors, has reacted to the news of the threequel, as well as shared his thoughts on why the franchise is so popular.

Stevens starred as Matthew Crawley in Downton Abbey’s first three seasons, with the character dying in a car crash at the end of “A Journey to the Highlands,” the 2012 Christmas special. More than a decade after his departure, Matthew remains one of Stevens’ most well-known roles, and while speaking with ET at the Los Angeles red carpet premiere for Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire, the 2024 movie release that sees him joining the MonsterVerse, the actor said the following about Downton Abbey 3 and this franchise’s enduring appeal:

Like with any show where you're in people's living rooms on a Sunday evening, you know, people take a special kind of ownership of that. They become a part of your family in a way. You sit down, you watch it with your mom, your grandma. So many people I know have seen that show, and it's really brought families together. We laugh, we cry, but, you know, it's one of those shows where it means a lot to a lot of people. So I'm excited for another movie.

Premiering in 2010 on ITV in the United Kingdom and as part of PBS’ Masterpiece Classic anthology in the United States, Downton Abbey quickly became a worldwide sensation. By the end of its six-season run, it’d won 15 Emmys and collected the most nominations of any international TV series in the award show’s history. But even setting aside all its accolades, as Dan Stevens explained Downton Abbey has built a dedicated fanbase over nearly a decade and a half, to the point that, as is the case with many shows, these viewers have a established a personal connection with these characters, as well as helped them grow closer to people in their actual lives.

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Hugh Bonneville attending a party in a tuxedo and Dame Maggie Smith standing in the study in a dress in Downton Abbey: A New Era, pictured side by side.
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So even though Stevens won’t reprise Matthew Crawley in Downton Abbey 3, he’s clearly on board for another movie if is is indeed on the way. And since the cast of Downton Abbey: A New Era shared their ideas for what the third movie could be about back in 2022, they’re clearly game to reprise their characters. According to Staunton, Downton Abbey 3 will be the “final film,” meaning fans will want to brace themselves for finally saying goodbye to the Crawleys and those in their orbit… for real this time… probably.

On the other hand, it was rumored in February that filming had secretly begun on Downton Abbey Season 7, with the likes of Hugh Bonneville, Michelle Dockery, Elizabeth McGovern and Joanne Froggat set to reprise their roles. Allegedly this new season is expected to air by the end of the year, and if I had to guess, Dan Stevens would probably set some time aside to watch some, if not all of the episodes. Still, fingers crossed that the existence of either project is confirmed or debunked sooner rather than later, as many Downton Abbey fans would surely like the record set straight.

If you’re in the mood to stream the Downton Abbey saga, the series can be accessed with a Peacock subscription, Netflix subscribers can check out the first movie, and A New Era is over on Starz. Catch Dan Stevens playing Trapper in Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire starting this Friday, March 29.