Ryan Paevey & Cindy Busby Left Out of Hallmark’s Jane Austen Movie Event

As Hallmark Channel kicks off its “Loveuary” programming, with an original Jane Austen-themed movie premiering each weekend in February 2024, two stars are noticeably absent from the lineup.

For years, fans have been clamoring for an onscreen reunion of Ryan Paevey and Cindy Busby, who co-starred in 2016’s “Unleashing Mr. Darcy” and 2018’s “Marrying Mr. Darcy.” In the movies, Paevey played Donovan Darcy and Busby played Elizabeth Scott.

But as Hallmark goes all-in on stories inspired by Austen’s late 18th century novels like “Pride & Prejudice” and “Sense & Sensibility,” many fans have questioned why Busby and Paevey were left out of the mix. The actors themselves have said that they’d love to continue their characters’ stories with a third movie, but have been kept out of the loop on discussions.

Cindy Busby & Ryan Paevey Have Both Said They’d Love to Film a Third ‘Darcy’ Movie

HallmarkCindy Busby and Ryan Paevey in “Marrying Mr. Darcy”

In “Unleashing Mr. Darcy,” Hallmark put a modern-day spin on Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice,” with Busby’s character, Elizabeth Scott, entering her Cavalier King Charles Spaniel in a fancy New York dog show. After lots of miscommunications with Paevey’s character, snobbish show judge Donovan Darcy, the two fall for each other. The couple then plans their wedding, with plenty of speed bumps, in “Marrying Mr. Darcy.” Both films also featured Frances Fisher as Darcy’s Aunt Violet.

On January 26, during a Q&A with fans that Busby posted in her Instagram Stories, the actress addressed someone’s question about a possible third movie.

“I know you all are so curious about this,” Busby said. “I wish there would be a third ‘Darcy’ (film) because you all love that movie so much. And that, to me, makes me so happy that you absolutely love that movie.”

“I don’t know,” she continued. “The answer is I don’t know that there’ll be a third one. Would I do a third one? Absolutely. And that’s all I can say.”

Back in 2022, Paevey told TV Insider he had high hopes that another “Mr. Darcy” movie would be coming soon.

“We’ve been ready to go since we walked off the set of number 2,” he said. “I’m in. I know Cindy is in. I can probably call Frances and see if she would want to join us for a few days. I think we’re good to go. It’s a question of if the powers-that-be want to do another one. I know fans are pumped about the potential.”

But days before Hallmark’s Loveuary kicked off, Paevey, who last appeared in December’s “Under the Christmas Sky,” seemed to take a slight jab at the fact he’s not part of the February lineup.

On January 26, Paevey — who sells handmade jewelry through his side business, Fortunate Wanderer, posted a photo of a braided, sterling silver bracelet. When someone asked, “is there anything you can’t do?” Paevey replied, “book an acting job, apparently. 😂🤷🏽‍♂️”

In mid-October, when filming began on “Paging Mr. Darcy” in Ottawa, Busby was the only actor cited in ACTRA Ottawa‘s production notes as being part of the cast, but she is not featured in any of Hallmark’s previews or credit sheets for the new film. And though the title of the movie is reminiscent of her and Paevey’s “Mr. Darcy” movies, the plot is wholly different.

According to Hallmark’s synopsis, Jansen plays Professor Eloise Cavendish, who’s tasked with giving the keynote speech at a Jane Austen conference and fan convention. Kemp plays Sam, who dresses up as the event’s official Mr. Darcy every year and, after multiple missteps, ultimately connects with Eloise over their shared love of Austen’s work.

Fans Perplexed & Upset Over Paevey & Busby’s Absence During Loveuary

 

Many fans have expressed frustration online about Hallmark theming the entire month of February around Jane Austen without expanding the storyline of Busby and Paevey’s characters.

On January 30, when Hallmark Movies Now tweeted that fans could stream the duo’s Austen-inspired movies before watching the new “Paging Mr. Darcy,” one fan replied, More Darcy please @hallmarkchannel@cindy_busby and @RyanPaevey could have a baby.”

Another fan shared Hallmark Channel’s tweet about the upcoming movie and wrote, “I will watch this for the cast but in truth, @RyanPaevey will ALWAYS be my Mr. Darcy! #UnleashingMrDarcy #MarryingMrDarcy two GREAT films! @hallmarkchannel we need something new from Mr. Paevey!!!” 

Someone else replied, “I agree! @RyanPaevey is the only true Mr. Darcy! We need a Darcy #3 @hallmarkchannel!”

Some fans have vowed not to watch “Paging Mr. Darcy” because it doesn’t feature Paevey and Busby, even though the premise and characters are different.

“I hope it does well as I see unleashing mr. darcy fans refuse to watch the movie because it’s not a sequel to that movie series,” one fan recently wrote on the Heavy on Hallmark Facebook page. “They must not be jane austen fans to know the difference between the two”

Another chimed in, “Agree! Mallory Jansen & Will Kemp are excited about sharing their new film -a tribute to Jane Austen. This one is completely different from the others. Hoping fans will give it a chance. 

“Paging Mr. Darcy” is the first of the Jane Austen-inspired movies to debut during Hallmark’s Loveuary promotion on February 3 at 8 p.m. Eastern time. Meanwhile, “Unleashing Mr. Darcy” is not scheduled to air at all during February and “Marrying Mr. Darcy” has only one air date — on a Tuesday afternoon, February 20.

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This article was originally published on Heavy.com

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