And that’s not all: All our old favourites from the ITV series will be returning for the Downton Abbey film, including Maggie Smith as the ever-cutting Dowager Countess, Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary, Hugh Bonneville as the Earl of Downton, and Joanna Froggatt as Anna Bates.
“We’re thrilled to announce that Downton Abbey is coming to the big screen,” the official Twitter account declared. “Film production begins this summer.”
The ITV drama ran for six series and racked up huge viewing figures before coming to an end in 2015 with the Christmas special. However, ever since it went off screen, rumours of a Downton movie have been circling.
Story details have so far been kept under wraps, but the return of the original cast suggests it could be set a few years after we last caught up with the Crawleys in 1926, with one film executive referring to the project as the “next chapter” in the family’s story.
Gareth Neame, Carnival’s Executive Chairman and the film’s producer, 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 [director] Brian Percival’s hands we aim to deliver everything that one would hope for as Downton comes to the big screen.”
Focus chairman Peter Kujawski added, “Since the series ended, fans of Downton have long been waiting for the Crawley family’s next chapter. We’re thrilled to join this incredible group of filmmakers, actors and craftspeople, led by Julian Fellowes and Gareth Neame, in bringing back the world of Downton to the big screen.”