Everything We Know About The ‘Downton Abbey’ Movie Sequel So Far
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Featured Image Credit: ITV
After incredible reviews, the producers have announced that a sequel is already in the works.
So what can we expect from the second film? When will filming start? Have we already the end of Maggie Smith's Downton story? And will Daisy marry Andy in the sequel?
Here's everything we know so far...
What happened in the first Downton Abbey film?
The Downton Abbey film reunited the majority of the series' entire cast, including Hugh Bonneville as the Earl of Grantham, Elizabeth McGovern as Countess Cora Crawley, Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary Talbot, Laura Carmichael as Lady Edith Crawley, and Maggie Smith as Violet, the Dowager Countess.
Set in 197, the Crawley family prepare for royal guests while servants are under siege by the King's household. Banned from serving the family, the servants fight back to defend Downton Abbey's honour. Simultaneously, an assassin arrives and attempts to kill the monarch.
Without giving too much away, the film ends with an uncertain future for Countess Violet, who confides in her granddaughter that she's gravely ill.
At the end of the film, Mr Carson (Jim Carter) and Mrs Hughes (Phyllis Logan) discuss Downton's future and the former assures it will stand for another 100 years with the Crawley family still in residence.
How far along in the process are Downton Abbey in creating a sequel?
It's early days, but producer Graham Neame recently told The Hollywood Reporter: "We're working on what the story is, and when we might be able to make it.
"But it's the same as the first time around: We have to try to get everyone back together again. And that was very challenging."
The main challenge, he said, will be making sure everyone is available at the same time.
When was the decision made?
In July 2019, the film's director Michael Engler told Vanity Fair: "I think there's always potential".
The word "possibility" had previously been used by writer and director Julian Fellowes when asked about a sequel. Speaking to The Sun he said: "I haven't killed off half the cast in a Coronation Street style crash so a follow-up is a definite possibility."
Before the first film's release, Neame told The Hollywood Reporter: "If it does really well, then we'd do another one," adding, "We've got the beginnings of ideas of what we might do next-if that would happen."
What will the sequel be about?
Plot details haven't been confirmed yet, but a sequel movie would no doubt continue to follow the dramatic lives of the Crawleys at Downton Abbey.
Despite the uncertain ending for Dowager Countess, it's been hinted the character could be back for the sequel.
Neame suggested this could be the case when asked about her return. He said: "All I would say is that one of the things that's been commented on over the years about Downton is that we've had plenty of medical misdiagnoses."
Which other cast members will return in the sequel?
While no-one has been officially announced, cast members have expressed interest in returning. Elizabeth McGovern told the Evening Standard: "All doors are always left open, as much as I can say. We'll see, we have to wait and see."
Allen Leech, who plays Tom Branson, confirmed in September that he would be open to returning. "It would be very interesting to see what would happen," Leech said. "I think we would all be up for it. It all comes down to how this one does. If people really love it and there really is an appetite, then why wouldn't we do it?"
Meanwhile, Hugh Bonneville said to Vanity Fair: "How many movies were there of Star Wars? This could run and run."
When will the Downton Abbey sequel be released?
Not for a while, unfortunately. Speaking to Variety, Neame warned that the film might not happen for some time.
"Julian is doing a lot of rewrites [on his new HBO show The Gilded Age], and he said: 'It may delay me thinking further about this "Downton" endeavor.' I said: 'I like to think you have two shifts going on, a day shift and night shift, and the TV work can happen during the day and the writing on the Downton script at night.'"
We'll keep you up to date with more information on the sequel as we get it.