Here's an unexpected surprise: this Christmas, we'll be reunited with the Crawley family and their retinue of servants, valets and maids. Downton Abbey 2 will be getting a theatrical release for the festive season, scripted by original series veteran Julian Fellowes who also penned the show's hugely successful feature film debut.
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 cinemas this Christmas. pic.twitter.com/bbqbDvgax4— Universal Pictures UK (@universaluk) April 19, 2021
Plot details are thin on the ground, but it's impressive that such a major movie has been filmed on the sly in the midst of the pandemic. The first Downton Abbey movie served up everything fans could wish for (silverware, ballrooms, internecine squabbling, British history, Maggie Smith's putdowns) and proved to be a commercial success, grossing $230 million worldwide.
As one can see from the tweet, new faces include Hannibal's Hugh Dancy, Guardians of the Galaxy's Laura Haddock, Catch Me If You Can's Nathalie Baye and Pride's Dominic West. Which of these new faces will be brave enough to spar with Smith's acid-tongued Dowager Countess?
We can expect to see the cast fronted by Hugh Bonneville's Lord Grantham and Elizabeth McGovern's Lady Cora. Also expected to appear: Michelle Dockery's Lady Mary and Imelda Staunton's Lady Bagshaw, who made her debut in the 2019 film.
Gareth Neame, the film’s producer and executive chairman of Carnival Films said: “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."
Simon Curtis is set to direct – he's the man behind well-received Marilyn Monroe biopic My Week With Marilyn (2011), which featured a sparkling central performance from Michelle Williams. Downton Abbey 2 is set to open its doors on 22nd December 2021. Excited? Let us know @Cineworld.