Downton Abbey will close its doors after the sixth series airs later this year, but a mass cull of characters is not on the cards – at least that’s what creator Julian Fellowes says.
“I think to have them all killed in a bus (in the finale) would be a mistake”, he told Deadline.com when asked whether or not he’d consider making a film sequel.
There’s been plenty of speculation about how the series will end, with many guessing Downton will conclude with the Dowager Countess’ death or Lady Mary’s marriage.
“I think we bring various things to a conclusion and anything unresolved is unresolved,” Fellowes continued enigmatically.
Producer Gareth Neame confirmed that Mary’s love life would still be central to the plot in the final series. “We can definitely offer some big events in the coming year”, Neame added, clearly also keen to avoid spoilers, “highs and lows as you’d expect in a final season.”
The pair revealed that filming on the sixth series of Downton Abbey is almost complete. The cast and crew were filming episodes seven and eight when they were interviewed, with episode nine still in the process of being written.
Fellowes also said that talk of film sequel is premature – “Or a stage show or anything else.”
“I’m open to the idea of a movie” he continued, “but I’m not anxious to do it. In my experience, and naming no names, the movie of the series is often a disappointment. Normally they’re not very good because the film producer says, ‘Oh, it’s not going to be anything like the series,” and of course what you want is for it to be exactly like the series. I hope we would avoid that error in doing one, but I do have mixed feelings about it.'”
The possibility of big screen outing for the Crawleys was first hinted at when news of the show’s end broke in March. Laura Carmichael (Lady Edith) recently confirmed that the show’s makers were in talks about a feature film.
Neame added that the cast do not share Fellowes’ reservations: “We are up for doing it, the cast is up for doing it. There are a lot of things to work out. We have the ambition to do it, but no firm plan about it or when it would happen,” he said.
The sixth and final series of Downton Abbey airs in autumn