Television’s most beloved period drama will be returning to the big screen, with Deadline confirming a “Downton Abbey” movie has been given the green light.
The principal cast — including Hugh Bonneville, Michelle Dockery, Dame Maggie Smith and the rest — have reportedly all signed on to reprise their roles in the upcoming feature.
Carnival Films and Focus Features have announced that shooting is set to take place this summer at Highclerc Castle, the 17th-century estate which served as the setting for the aristocratic Crawley family’s titular home.
While details of the “Downton” movie are being kept under wraps, reports say the film will feature a script written by the series’ creator, Julian Fellowes, and will be directed by Brian Percival (“The Book Thief”).
“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,” said Gareth Neame, Carnival Films’ executive chairman and producer of the movie, in a statement. “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.”
Focus chairman Peter Kujawski added: “Since the series ended, fans of ‘Downton’ have long been waiting for the Crawley family’s next chapter. We’re thrilled to join this incredible group of filmmakers, actors and craftspeople, led by Julian Fellowes and Gareth Neame, in bringing back the world of ‘Downton’ to the big screen.”
Following the announcement, returning cast members Joanne Froggatt (a.k.a. maid Anna Bates) and Bonneville (Robert Crawley, the seventh Earl of Grantham) took to Twitter to share their excitement.