For six seasons, the entire world was riveted by the turn of the century aristocratic drama of Downton Abbey.
The series, which dealt with the dueling worlds of the aristocratic Crawley family in their lavish British estate and their humble downstairs employees, became a worldwide sensation, and launched the careers of Legion’s Dan Stevens and Cinderella’s Lily James. Most notably, it gave Dame Maggie Smith a second career wind, as she played the juicy role of the acid-tongued Dowager Countess, Violet Crawley. Now, three years after the series ended, the cast is officially reuniting for a Downton Abbey feature film.
According to a report in Variety, Focus Features will be teaming up with Carnival Films for the big screen return of the Crawleys, which begins production later this summer. The movie will be written by series creator Julian Fellowes, and Brian Percival (About a Girl), who directed the series’ pilot some eight years ago, has officially signed on to direct the feature film. In a statement, series producer Gareth Neame said “When the television series drew to a close it was our dream to bring the millions of global fans a movie and now, after getting many stars aligned, we are shortly to go into production. Julian’s script charms, thrills and entertains and in Brian Percival’s hands we aim to deliver everything that one would hope for as Downton comes to the big screen.”
The movie’s plot is still under wraps, but all of the show’s main cast has supposedly signed on for the film. The show’s narrative started in 1912, at the time the Titanic sunk, and followed the Crawleys through the horrors of World War I, and left us at the tail end of 1925. Will the series have another time jump? It will be interesting to see what becomes of the family after the worldwide economic crash of 1929, and into the Great Depression of the 1930s. But don’t expect too big a time jump, as part of what makes people love the show so much are the elderly characters played by Maggie Smith and Hugh Bonneville. Not sure Downton would be the same without them.
Images: ITV Studios / Carnival Films