It’s hard to quit when you’re at the top of your game – just ask Julian Fellowes. The creator of Downton Abbey was pressed about the possibility of a movie sequel during an interview on ITV’s Lorraine, and eventually said: “I’ll do me best, guv.”
While the broad cockney accent Fellowes adopted might have suggested he was joking, Fellowes was asked repeatedly by Lorraine Kelly about the chance of another Downton movie, and he never denied it.
The actor, writer and Conservative peer also talked about the excitement he felt during this year’s Downton Abbey release, which was the feature-length adaptation which opened at number one in the American box office. “That was very thrilling – I can’t pretend it wasn’t,” Fellowes said.
The original series of Downton ran from 2010 to 2015 on ITV. Set in the early years of the 20th century, the series focused on the lives of the wealthy Crawley family, and had an acclaimed cast which included Hugh Bonneville, Michelle Dockery, Maggie Smith and Laura Carmichael.
The film, set in 1927, was released in September 2019, and was a juggernaut financial success. While the ending was quite self-contained, it left open the possibility for a sequel, one which Fellowes had previously suggested had been discussed among the writers.
He also used his interview with Kelly to promote awareness of his nerve disorder, which is called an essential tremor. Eight times more common than Parkinson’s disease, Fellowes said: “It’s very strange. Nobody talks about it but nobody’s ever heard of it.”
If there is going to be a Downton sequel, it’s unlikely to be for a while, seeing as the TV stalwart has a host of other projects currently in development.
These include The Gilded Age, a Downton-esque period drama for HBO starring Christine Baranski and Cynthia Nion, and Belgravia, a historical drama for ITV based on Fellowes’ own novel.
Fellowes is also working on a series called The English Game for Netflix, based on the history of football.
With so much on his plate, it might be a while before a Downton sequel would be written, let alone filmed – but his comments have given fans of the franchise fresh hope about its future.