Yep “Downton Abbey” fans, Dan Stevens is gone and he ain’t coming back. The actor who exited the hit show with great fanfare at the end of last year has landed pretty nicely on his feet in Hollywood with roles in the upcoming Julian Assange flick “The Fifth Estate” and the Liam Neeson thriller “A Walk In The Tombstones” but now he’s gearing up for something a little closer to home.
The Sun actually has a legit report, revealing that the actor will star in adaptation of the British children’s classic book “Swallows & Amazons.” Published in 1930, and written by Arthur Ransome, the book is the first in a series (franchise!) about the Walker children and their various adventures, and in their first outing, they cross paths with pirates! Here’s a synopsis of the book:
The Walker children — also known as Captain John, Mate Susan, Able-Seaman Titty, and Ship’s Boy Roger — set sail on the Swallow and head for Wild Cat Island. There they camp under open skies, swim in clear water and go fishing for their dinner. But their days are disturbed by the Blackett sisters, the fierce Amazon pirates. The Swallows and Amazons decide to battle it out, and so begins a summer of unforgettable discoveries and incredible adventures.
If you’re wondering why this hasn’t yet been made into a movie, well it has, in the 1974 film by Claude Watham, which as you can see by the clip below, could use some updating. It’s also hit the U.K. stage in the form of a musical with songs from The Divine Comedy member Neil Hannon. The movie will go right back to the source material according to the producers, and though there’s no word on the director, Stevens will be playing Uncle James, who is mistaken for a retired pirate and attacked.
It all sounds pretty lighthearted and some decent escapist fare for kids. Filming gets underway this summer.