Downton star Stevens may take on Darcy role

Dan Stevens may be set to play Mr Darcy in a new BBC adaptation of 'Death Comes to Pemberley'.

The former 'Downton Abbey' actor is favourite to take on the role of Jane Austin's 'Pride & Prejudice' hero - who has previously been played by Colin Firth and Matthew Macfadyen - in the drama, which is based on a 2011 P.D. James murder story taking place six years into Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet's marriage.

However, he faces competition from Eddie Redmayne, Matthew Goode and Hugh Dancy - whose wife Claire Danes is rumoured to be up for the role of Elizabeth.

Announcing the three-part series, to be filmed this summer, BBC drama boss Ben Stephenson said: "There are certain characters from a book who go way, way beyond the page. Mr Darcy is one of them. He is the iconic romantic lead - brooding and intense."

Speaking about Hugh and Claire starring alongside each other, producer David Thompson said: "Imagine the two of them together in the series as husband and wife."

In the P.D. James novel, Elizabeth is forced to contend with the arrival of her wayward sister Lydia, who claims her husband George Wickham, has been murdered.

The plot then turns into a classic whodunnit murder mystery.

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