If 2016 was the year of Benedict Cumberbatch (and it was, like 2015 and 2014 before it, and just about every year since 2006, for that matter), then 2017 looks set to be the year of Dan Stevens.
The Downton Abbey star has been relatively quiet since ditching his car on the side of the road, though he’s shown impressive range by turning up in films as varied as The Guest and Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb.
That all looks set to change next year, when he’ll star in no fewer than four movies, including Disney’s live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast, a revenge-fuelled action romp called Apostle directed by The Raid‘s Gareth Evans, and the dramedy Permission opposite Rebecca Hall, not to mention lead the cast of new Marvel TV series Legion.
But that’s not all. Deadline is now reporting a fifth is underway, with Dan snagging the lead role in a movie called The Man Who Invented Christmas.
The film is based on a 2011 book of the same name by Les Standiford, which contends that many of the traditions we now associate with Christmas were in reality invented in 1843 by one Charles Dickens and his book A Christmas Carol.
Dan will play the young author as he sets about writing the story in a desperate attempt to support his growing family, and who, by all accounts, was rather more dashing than the older statesman figure with whom we are more familiar.
Put it like this, if they can turn dapper Dan into a Beast, then a nineteenth century novelist is hardly a stretch, is it?
His co-stars are no slacks either. None other than Christopher Plummer will play Ebeneezer Scrooge, the tale’s inimitable protagonist, while Jonathan Pryce will play Dickens’ father.
Production is due to get underway this December, though there are no prizes for guessing at what time of year it’ll hit theaters.
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