Dan Stevens has revealed 'Downton Abbey' bosses had different plans for his character's death in 2012 - but the idea was scrapped because it was "too shocking."

Dan Stevens

Dan Stevens

The 35-year-old actor was written out of the period drama when his alter-ego Matthew Crawley died in a car crash - just days after his wife Mary (Michelle Dockery)had given birth - but he has admitted writer Julian Fellowes had planned for him to be mowed down by a lorry while having a heart-to-heart with his mother.

Speaking to the Daily Mirror newspaper, he said: "I remember he had a line like: 'I've never been happier in my life.' And then he stepped off a curb and was hit by a grocery lorry. It was too shocking - it was insane.

"You had people just running out of trailers saying: 'No way, no way!' And there was a sort of mass revolt that this was just too much."

The ITV drama, which ran for five years, came to an end in 2015 but Fellowes has promised that it will return in the future in the shape of a blockbuster.

He said: "I've done some work on the script because I don't want to find there's a green light and no script ready. But we're still waiting for that green light from the studio. Then the biggest difficulty will be rounding up all the cast as, compared with most series, it has such a large cast. And it needs them to feel Downtonesque."

However, although NBCUniversal International Studios were hoping to start shooting the movie this year, some of the cast aren't convinced it'll happen.

Joanne Froggatt - who played maid Anna Bates in the popular period drama series -

said previously: "It's been tricky. There has been a lot of goodwill from all of us, but logistically it's a bit of a minefield. It's very difficult to get all 22 actors together. But if we can, everyone would like to do it."