By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist December 20, 2012 at 5:24PM
With the participation of "Downton Abbey" star Dan Stevens for the fourth season of the hit show currently up in the air, he's busy getting ready to make his Hollywood debut in a film that is bringing together an impressive amount of talent, to tell the tale of one of the world's most intriguing newsmakers.
Variety reports that Stevens is joining the forever untitled WikiLeaks movie, being directed by Bill Condon and starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Daniel Bruhl and Alicia Vikander. Based on the books "Inside WikiLeaks: My Time With Julian Assange At The World's Most Dangerous Website" and "WikiLeaks: Inside Julian Assange's War On Secrecy," and penned by Josh Singer ("The West Wing," "Fringe"), the film will present Assange as a whistleblower who apparently let power get to his head and let the ethics of his work slide, much to the chagrin of his right-hand man Daniel Domscheit-Berg (Bruhl). Stevens will play a hacker friend of Bruhl's character, who works for the document dumping site.
This is a pretty nice transition/leap for Stevens, and if this is the kind of stuff that's crossing his desk, it's easy to see why he wants to leave the PBS show. But what will they do without him? Series writer Julian Fellowes isn't too worried about it. “I think [the Crawleys will] go on jogging quite happily through the 20s,” Fellowes told EW about the fourth season, saying he won't re-cast the character. “You know there’s always a little time jump [between seasons]. We did two years between [seasons] 1 and 2 because we only wanted to spend two years in the war so we had to start halfway through the war. Now we don’t have those imperatives. Sometimes you just have a few months so that there can be a few things that have happened in between that you can refer to, and have a slightly back-story for one or another character, but we don’t have the same imperative to leap forward.”
Production on the WikiLeaks movie begins next year.