When Dan Stevens left Downton Abbey at the end of the third season, he left behind the role that had defined his young career because, “From a personal point of view, I wanted a chance to do other things.” He went in search of new roles, like a supporting part in the Julian Assange biopic The Fifth Estate, or the upcoming Lawrence Block crime novel adaptation A Walk Among The Tombstones with Liam Neeson. Solid, wide-ranging projects that would make mothers everywhere stop and think, “Why did that nice Matthew Crawley have to ruin everything and leave Lady Mary all by herself?”
Now he will continue that search for greener pastures in a family movie threequel, as he’s signed on to play Lancelot in the upcoming Night At the Museum 3. It’s the latest in a string of purposefully against-type choices for Stevens, who will play a drug dealer with a missing wife in Tombstones, an ex-Marine who terrorizes a grieving family in The Guest, and now Lancelot, described as the movie's "villain" who doesn’t want Robin Williams’ Theodore Roosevelt or Ben Stiller’s security guard in his London museum. Though essentially, Stevens is trading one stuffy, historical estate for another.