And he's set to earn a bob or two in the process. In fact, the Independent are calling it "one of the most lucrative deals in small-screen history."

Downton Abbey's Julian Fellowes is said to be creating a 19th century drama, based on the Vanderbilt family and their rise to power in New York, and is gunning for Day Lewis to play the "lead role of railroad magnate Cornelius Vanderbilt." It is currently being billed as *adopts trailer man's voice* "an epic tale of the princes of the American Renaissance and the vast fortunes made - and spent - in late 19th century New York."

Someone spilling the beans on behalf of NBC said: "Daniel Day-Lewis is currently the only name in the hat. He is an absolute natural for a role which we believe would garner a huge audience and win big awards, as well as giving Downton Abbey a run for its money in America."

Downton currently broadcasts on PBS stateside.

When approached about this supposed role, a spokesperson for Day Lewis responded: "Daniel never discusses projects in advance."