British actor Matthew Rhys has seen off competition from stars including Dan Stevens, Eddie Redmayne and Hugh Dancy to win the coveted role of Mr. Darcy in a Pride And Prejudice spin-off.

The Americans star has been given a lead role in an upcoming Bbc period drama called Death Comes to Pemberley, which is adapted from the Pride and Prejudice sequel written by P.D. James.

Downton Abbey star Stevens was said to be in competition for the part, along with Redmayne, Dancy and Thor's Tom Hiddleston.

Rhys insists he is looking forward to putting his own spin on the character, and hopes he won't be compared to Oscar-winner Colin Firth, who played Mr. Darcy in a famous Bbc adaptation of the Jane Austen classic.

He says, "Of course I am stepping into the shoes of others who have played the part, but I don't think there will be too many comparisons with Colin Firth. Mine is a different Darcy who has mellowed and has kids."

The female lead of Elizabeth Bennet will be played by Anna Maxwell Martin. Filming on Death Comes to Pemberley is due to begin in the U.K. over the summer (13).