Dan Stevens, who plays Matthew Crawley on Downton Abbey, will not be returning for the fourth season of the ITV series.
A production source told the Sunday Express that the 30-year-old is leaving the show.
“Dan Stevens isn’t returning to the series,” the insider said. “He will probably do the first episode of the fourth series, but that will be it.”
Stevens will, however, be in season 3, which premieres in the US on January 16 on Masterpiece.
According to the Daily Mail, Stevens will also appear in the series’ two-hour Christmas special and the first episode of season 4.
It isn’t clear how Stevens’ departure will affect his on-screen love interest, Michelle Dockery.
Dan Stevens is currently appearing on Broadway in The Heiress, which also stars Jessica Chastain. He hinted that he might stay in New York once the show’s over.
“New York for me is going to be one big adventure,” Stevens said. “I will be taking the whole family out and we will be there for six months. I don’t know if I will be returning to Downton.”
Creator Julian Fellowes said in July that Stevens was doing a limited run and would still be in the show.
Downton Abbey was renewed for a fourth season Friday, and a fifth season will likely be its last. Producer Gareth Neame said he doesn’t think the show will go past that mark.
“We have to balance between continuing to make it for audiences around the world that adore it and making sure that we don’t take it too far … which is not now and not next year, but likely five years or six years, not 10 years,” he said.
Fellowes is, however, planning a prequel to the show.
Are you sad to see Dan Stevens leave Downton Abbey?