Julian Fellowes: Downton Abbey film could be a prequel with a brand new cast

It might prove too difficult to round up all the original actors for a sequel movie

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Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes has said that his hotly anticipated forthcoming film spin-off could be a prequel to the series with a completely new cast.

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Since appearing in Downton, many of the drama’s cast have been snapped up for Hollywood productions, and due to the actors’ busy schedules across the pond, a prequel film with a different cast might be more realistic than a follow-on movie. 

“I hope there will be a film,” Fellowes told The Mirror. “It will be sad if we don’t do one. Most films are a punt and we have a solid audience waiting for it. The difficulty is rounding up the actors who have now gone off to the four corners of the earth, in Hollywood, on Broadway, doing plays, doing series and so on.”

He suggested that the film could go back to the characters’ stories 30 years prior to where the series started: “I think it would be possible to do a prequel that was re-cast and do a love story – so you went right back and had the young cast arriving in the show as footmen and Mrs Patmore being a kitchen maid.”

The Downton film was finally confirmed as being in the works last month, but Maggie Smith thinks that making a movie might be “squeezing it dry”. Details of a release date and cast are still to be announced. 

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