Lady Mary, the Dowager Countess, Robert and the rest of the always-stately Crawley family are heading to the big screen.
The long-awaited Downton Abbey movie is officially happening, and maybe sooner than you think. Focus Features announced Friday that not only does the movie have the go-ahead, but also the original cast of principals is returning, and they’re kicking off production later this summer, in conjunction with Carnival Films. As Violet Crawley (the Dowager Countess, played by the marvelous Dame Maggie Smith) might say, “Put that in your pipe and smoke it.”
Series creator Julian Fellowes is returning as well, this time as the screenplay auteur and a producer alongside Gareth Neame and Liz Trubridge. Brian Percival, who directed the series pilot and movies like The Book Thief, is signed on as director. There’s no word yet on a release date. However, the folks behind Downton Abbey are clearly thrilled to be bringing the Crawleys and their servants to the big screen. Joanne Froggatt, who plays Anna on the show, tweeted that “we’re getting the band back together” alongside an adorable photo of castmates Michelle Dockery and Maggie Smith. The Downton Abbey account and Dockery expressed enthusiasm on Twitter and Instagram as well, as you’ll see below.
The secret’s out… Thrilled to announce that #DowntonAbbey is coming to the big screen. Filming to commence this summer @downtonabbey_official
A post shared by Michelle Dockery; (@theladydockers) on
Neame, who’s also Carnival’s executive chairman, sounded off on the forthcoming film, too, in a statement:
When the television series drew to a close it was our dream to bring the millions of global fans a movie and now, after getting many stars aligned, we are shortly to go into production. Julian’s script charms, thrills and entertains and in Brian Percival’s hands we aim to deliver everything that one would hope for as Downton comes to the big screen.
Downton Abbey was British-born and made, but it never failed to charm U.S. audiences and critics. Over the course of six seasons, Downton Abbey collected quite the hardware haul, taking home 15 Emmys (out of a total 69 nominations) and three Golden Globes. Read our review of the series finale, which aired in 2016.