‘The Americans’ Star Matthew Rhys To Play Mr. Darcy In BBC’s ‘Death Comes To Pemberley’

The Americans‘ Matthew Rhys is temporarily trading in his spy credentials to take on the iconic role of Jane Austen’s Mr. Darcy in the BBC’s upcoming three-part series Death Comes to Pemberley, based on the Pride and Prejudice mystery/tribute novel of the same name by P. D. James. Adapted by Juliette Towhidi (Calendar Girls) and directed by BAFTA award-winner Daniel Percival (Dirty War), Death Comes to Pemberley will also star Anna Maxwell Martin (The Bletchley Circle) as Darcy’s headstrong wife Elizabeth and Matthew Goode (Birdsong) as George Wickham.

“Exciting as it is, one of the challenges of a part such as Darcy are the comparisons that will be drawn to those who’ve institutionalised him in the past,” said Rhys in a statement. “The beauty of ‘Pemberley’ is that it is an entirely new and different Darcy six years on. (And also, I don’t have to appear from a lake in a white shirt and breeches.)”

The series coincides with the 200th anniversary of Pride and Prejudice‘s publication, but it actually takes place six years after the events of the novel just as the now married Darcy and Elizabeth are preparing for their annual ball. The event is quickly disrupted by the appearance of Elizabeth’s sister Lydia, who announces that her husband Wickham is dead. However, when Darcy heads up a search party to find the body, it’s not Wickham he finds, but rather the corpse of Wickham’s traveling companion.

Do you think Rhys will be a convincing Mr. Darcy?

Death Comes to Pemberley will begin filming in Yorkshire in June.