Lily James won’t return to Downton Abbey for the upcoming movie

Lady Rose is sitting this one out

Lily James as Lady Rose on Downton Abbey (ITV, HF)

After years of rumours, it was recently confirmed that hit ITV series Downton Abbey is being made into a movie, with the affairs of the wealthy Grantham family and their serving staff once more under the spotlight as they head to the silver screen.

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Currently, fans have little to no idea of what to expect from the film, but we do now know one thing – fan-favourite character Lady Rose WON’T be included in the story, as explained by actor Lily James in a recent interview.

“My character Rose moved off to New York, so it would be far-fetched to bring her back,” James, who came to prominence in the role as the flighty Crawley cousin from 2010-2015, told People magazine.

“I would have loved to have come back for a scene, but for a movie, it can’t be like a Christmas special and it needs to be a focused storyline. There was simply no space for Rose.”

Still, despite her absence from the film James was more than happy to talk up the new project, which she says she’s discussed with some of her old cast mates for “months” already.

“I spoke to Laura [Carmichael] not long ago and was texting Michelle [Dockery] about Love Island and it’s going to be really exciting. And the whole gang is coming back,” she said.

“I’m so excited for it — I’m going to be front row.”

For the actors who ARE returning to the Abbey, filming on the movie kicks off this summer, three years after the series finished on TV, with a release pencilled in for 2019.

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And who knows? If it’s as successful as the ITV version of the story, maybe they’ll find room for Rose in a sequel…