A second Downton Abbey movie is in development, according to Carson actor Jim Carter.
Carter appeared on This Morning to discuss the show’s 10th anniversary when he lit slip details about the long-rumoured sequel, hinting that the script had already been written.
Carter told host Holly Willoughby: “If you promise not to tell anyone, I’ll let you know that we’ve seen a script… The script for a second film is there. We’ve seen it, it’s very funny!
“It’s got all the same characters in, all the regular characters, and I think the will is – COVID willing – we’ll film it next year. I don’t know if I can trust Phillip to keep this secret, but Holly, I know I can trust you!”
Co-host Phillip Schofield then tried to pry more details from Carter, pointing out how Dame Maggie Smith’s character Violet revealed she was ill in the last film. However, Carter would not be swayed, replying: “I’m not going to give anything away about plot lines!”
Carter played Downton Abbey’s iconic butler Carson on all six series of the period drama, and returned for the 2019 film along with real-life wife Imelda Staunton.
Carter’s appearance on This Morning coincided with the 10th anniversary of the series, which was first broadcast on 26th September 2010.
“It’s amazing. Does it feel like 10 years? It [does] seem like an age ago,” said Carter. “And I looked down on my bookshelves and I found this – a bound script of the first edition of the first script of Downton Abbey. And I had a little wave of nostalgia.”
It’s hard to imagine anyone else as the forever dutiful butler Carson, but Carter also reflected on how he had to try out for the part like everyone else.
“It was pitched as a period drama written by Julian Fellowes and of course I loved Gosford Park and I think it was pitched to ITV as ‘Gosford Park on the television’ and the big selling point in a way was Julian Fellowes but also Maggie Smith, who I knew was involved. I had to go in and audition like everybody else. I would have been cross if I hadn’t got the part!”