Although rumours that a Downton Abbey spin-off film is on the way have been pooh-poohed by Hugh Bonneville, his fellow Downton star Brendan Coyle did say this week that a movie version of the hit period drama might be a goer “if it’s a great, great script… it would have to be something, I imagine, completely removed from the series”.
That was enough for me. Let me get a few pitches in first…
The Housekeeper Who Knew Too Much Second World War drama. Mrs Hughes’s astonishing intelligence skills see her recruited by the British war effort as a double agent. She gets a job running one of Hitler’s country villas and learns of several major Nazi offensives by hearing about them through walls and air vents, or simply by appearing suddenly in a doorway as Adolf and Eva put on their pyjamas. But her mission is put in jeopardy when Mrs Patmore is also sent to the house, and blows her cover immediately by announcing that she “can’t cook this bloody foreign muck”.
The Pale Knight Rises Superhero thriller. Spurred on by his miraculous recovery from paralysis, Matthew Crawley turns crimefighter, although initially his mask and rubber suit terrify folk in the village who just want to know who stole their bicycle. But soon, a twin threat emerges: two evil masterminds, clad in black. Cigarette smoke and gossip are their calling cards. Theft, blackmail and trying to kill people by leaving soap on the floor are among their many crimes. Can Matthew – aka the Pale Knight – overcome the enemy within?
Titanic: the Movie Prequel in which Julian Fellowes has another bash at Titanic, with the actual cast of Downton instead of other characters who are like them, but rubbish. Tragedy strikes early: Bates mounts the bow of the ship and shouts “I’m king of the world!”, but his gammy leg gives way and he falls in the sea. Meanwhile, the Dowager Countess effectively murders 48 people by poking them with a cane as they try to share her lifeboat.
Mary Crawley, Sex Assassin Ludicrous erotic horror, based on the episode where Lady Mary boffed a Turk and he dropped dead on the spot. Realising her nether regions are cursed, Mary leaves Matthew and boards a train for London, where she dedicates herself to sexy evil and rampages through polite society. Matthew follows and pledges to track his fiancée down at all costs, unaware that she is the famous “Bodice Ripper”…
Four Weddings and a Funeral Simply Downton series three, but in a cinema.