When is the Downton Abbey movie set to be released in cinemas? Who from the original cast is returning? And what could the new instalment be about?
Here’s everything we know so far about the hit ITV drama’s move to the big screen, from release date to casting and plot details.
This page will be updated regularly, so check back for more information.
When is the Downton Abbey movie released in cinemas?
“We’re thrilled to announce that Downton Abbey is coming to the big screen,” the official Downton Twitter account declared in July 2018. “Film production begins this summer.”
The Downton Abbey movie will be released on 13th September 2019.
Who will be in the cast for the Downton Abbey movie?
All our old favourites from the ITV series will be returning for the Downton Abbey film, including Dame Maggie Smith as the ever-cutting Dowager Countess, Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary, Hugh Bonneville as the Earl of Downton, and Joanne Froggatt as Anna Bates.
Laura Carmichael will return as Lady Edith, Lesley Nicol as Mrs Patmore, Allen Leech as Tom Branson, and Elizabeth McGovern as Lady Cora.
Also due to reprise their roles are Rob James-Collier (playing Thomas Barrow), Phyllis Logan (Mrs Hughes), Brendan Coyle (Mr Bates), Matthew Goode (Henry Talbot), Sophie McShera (Daisy Mason), Penelope Wilton (Lady Isobel) and Jim Carter (Mr Carson).
Carter’s real-life wife, Imelda Staunton, will join the cast as Lady Bagshaw (who can be seen in the trailer sparring with the Dowager Countess) alongside fellow newcomers David Haig (playing the royal butler), Geraldine James (Queen Mary), Kate Phillips (Mary, Princess Royal), and Tuppence Middleton and Stephen Campbell-Moore in undisclosed roles.
One person who won’t be returning, however, is Lily James as Lady Rose. She told People magazine: “My character Rose moved off to New York, so it would be far-fetched to bring her back. 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.”
Ed Speleers has also let slip that he’s not involved, telling Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford on This Morning: “I haven’t had the call about that… but Downton was a big part of my life. I met the mother of my children there [wardrobe director Asia Macey], and that place was sort of like a drama school for me in some respects. My career started there and it was a real melting pot with great actors like Hugh Bonneville and Maggie Smith, it was a great place for me to learn. That was a huge part of my life.”
When will the Downton movie be set and what will happen?
Plot details for the film have long been kept under wraps, but we now know that the movie will revolve around a royal visit from King George V and Queen Mary.
It will be set in 1927 (a year on from the TV series’ finale) with the Great Depression looming and the Crawleys tightening their belts with their once large bevy of servants now diminished.
The movie will see Carson the butler, played by Jim Carter, come out of retirement to try to restore glory to Downton, and Lady Mary will consider leaving the estate forever. However, luckily Anna Bates is on hand to attempt to convince her ladyship to stay.
Meanwhile, Branson gets a new love interest, Mrs Patmore defends the honour of her kitchen from a royal invasion, and the Dowager Countess attempts to bend the knee. It’s quite something.
How did the Downton Abbey TV series end?
A lot happened at Downton Abbey between the death of the Grantham heir aboard the Titanic in 1912 and the series finale in the first days of 1926. So after six series on ITV, where did we leave our favourite (and least favourite) characters?
Lady Mary: Widowed eldest daughter Lady Mary re-married after falling for dashing racing driver Henry Talbot (Matthew Goode). He became stepfather to Mary’s young son (and heir) George. By the end of series six Lady Mary was running Downton herself – taking over from her father – and was pregnant with Henry’s kid.
Lady Edith: Finally found her happily-ever-after in the last Christmas special when she married Bertie Pelham, forming a family of three with her illegitimate daughter Marigold. She continued to defy society’s expectations and forged a successful career in magazine publishing.
Anna and Bates: Finally had a baby – a son!
Robert and Cora: After his explosive projectile blood vomiting incident in series six, Robert took a step back from running Downton Abbey and the estate. His wife Cora (Lady Grantham) became hospital president.
The Dowager Countess: Maggie Smith’s character Violet reluctantly ceded her hospital responsibilities to Cora. By this point she must have been about 103…
Tom Branson and Sybbie: Tom and his daughter returned from America to make Downton their home. He and Mary’s husband Henry set up an automobile shop in York – named Talbot and Branson Motors.
Isobel Crawley: Now properly called Isobel Grey, or Baroness Merton, Matthew Crawley’s mother took matters into her own hands when she decided to marry Lord Merton (“Dickie” Grey) against the wishes of his nasty daughter-in-law Amelia.
Carson and Mrs Hughes: The two of them finally got together and tied the knot, but poor Mr Carson developed palsy and had to retire. He was given a generous pension and an oversight role over his replacement, who is…
Thomas Barrow: Survived his suicide attempt, returned to Downton Abbey and stepped into Carson’s shoes as butler.
Mrs Patmore: Set up her own bed and breakfast establishment.
Lady Rose: Went off to live in America with her husband Atticus.
Mr Molesley: Learnt to read, discovered he was actually pretty gifted, and left service to become a schoolteacher.
Daisy: Developed feelings for second footman Andy and then went off to live on the farm inherited from her short-lived first husband William.