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Dan Stevens is apparently being lined up to play Jane Austen's brooding romantic hero Mr Darcy.

The 30-year-old Downton Abbey (opens in new tab) actor is the favourite to star in a BBC adaptation of Death Comes To Pemberley - a 2011 PD James murder story based around the characters of Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet from Austen's classic novel Pride And Prejudice.

Dan - who recently completed a successful stint on Broadway after quitting Downton - is thought to be competing against Les Miserables' Eddie Redmayne and Dancing On The Edge's Matthew Goode for the part, according to the Daily Mirror.

Martha, Marcy, May, Marlene star Hugh Dancy is also said to be in the running for the role, and his wife, Homeland's Claire Danes, is rumoured to be in talks to play Darcy's wife Elizabeth.

Producer David Thompson said: "Imagine the two of them together in the series as husband and wife."

In the book, Elizabeth finds herself thrown into a classic whodunnit murder mystery story after her wayward sister Lydia arrives, screaming that her husband, George Wickham, has been murdered.

Colin Firth most famously played Darcy in the BBC's 1995 adaptation of Pride And Prejudice, while Spooks star Matthew Macfadyen played him in director Joe Wright's film adaptation in 2005.

Victoria Wilson
Victoria Wilson

With over 20 years’ experience writing about TV and film, Vicky currently writes features for What’s on TV, TV Times, TV & Satellite Week magazines plus news and watching guides for WhatToWatch.com, a job which involves chatting to a whole host of famous faces. Our Vicky LOVES light entertainment, with Strictly Come Dancing, Britain’s Got Talent and The Voice UK among her fave shows. Basically, if it’s got a shiny floor, she’s all over it! When she’s not watching TV, you might find Vicky in therapy… retail therapy that is!