| Last updated
Hugh Bonneville has confirmed that the sequel of Downton Abbey has started filming.
And now a second movie has begun production, according to the Robert Crawley actor.
Hugh, 57, took to Twitter on Monday to share a picture in a Covid-19 mask, from the film set.
"Good to be back," he wrote under the image.
His tweet was soon shared by the Downton Abbey Twitter account, which went on to reveal further casting details for the sequel film, and the fact it would be getting a Christmas release date. Result!
The announcement confirmed that the "entire cast" would be back, alongside Hugh Dancy, Laura Haddock, Nathalie Baye and Dominic West.
The OG cast includes Hugh as Robert, the Earl of Grantham, as well as Elizabeth McGovern as Countess Cora Crawley and Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary Talbot.
Laura Carmichael also appeared as Lady Edith Crawley while Jim Carter appeared as Mr Carson.
We're thrilled to announce that Julian Fellowes and the entire Downton cast are back for #DowntonAbbey2, with Hugh Dancy, Laura Haddock, Nathalie Baye and Dominic West joining!
See the film in theaters this Christmas. pic.twitter.com/OHopFgzqiM
- Downton Abbey (@DowntonAbbey) April 19, 2021
As for Maggie Smith, her return as Violet Crawley, the Dowager Countess, was previously up in the air. Could the term "entire cast" mean there's hope for a comeback from her, too?
While we don't yet know for sure, Julian Fellowes has teased she could very well still crop up.
"We should remember that at the end of the film, Maggie was by no means dead," he said. "You imagine Violet is on her way out, but that decision hasn't been reached."
Gareth Neame, the film's producer, said of the sequel: "After a very challenging year with so many of us separated from family and friends, it is a huge comfort to think that better times are ahead and that next Christmas we will be reunited with the much beloved characters of Downton Abbey."
In case you need a reminder of what happened in the first movie, it was set in 1927, and saw Crawley family prepare for royal guests - meaning the servants were under siege by the King's household.
Banned from serving the family, the servants fought back to defend Downton Abbey's honour. Simultaneously, an assassin arrived and attempted to kill the monarch.
Without giving too much away, the film ended with an uncertain future for Maggie Smith's Countess Violet, who confided in her granddaughter that she was gravely ill.
At the end of the film, Mr Carson (Jim Carter) and Mrs Hughes (Phyllis Logan) also discussed Downton's future and the former assures it will stand for another 100 years with the Crawley family still in residence.
Hugh also previously teased the film was in the works, depending on how the country fared the Covid-19 pandemic.
Speaking on the Radio 2 Zoe Ball Breakfast Show show, he said: "Here's the deal, if everybody who is offered a vaccine takes a vaccine, we can make a movie, we will make a movie."
Adding that he had seen the scripts,the actor said he believed that people would "enjoy" a second movie given the year they'd been through.
He continued: "The planets are circling. They are beginning to get into alignment."
We're so glad to see that things worked out... Christmas can't come soon enough!
Chosen for YouChosen for You
Most Read StoriesMost Read