Get ready for more “Downton Abbey”! The celebrated upstairs-downstairs franchise is returning to the big screen with a sequel to the hit 2019 film adaptation. The official news comes just over one year after producer Gareth Neame told ET that he and creator Julian Fellowes were “committed” to making a second movie happen.
According to Focus Features, the principal cast “will all once again return” for the sequel, which will be set around the holidays and began production in April. Joining the cast this time around are Hugh Dancy, Laura Haddock, Nathalie Baye and Dominic West.
“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’,” Neame said in a statement.
Focus Features chairman Peter Kujawski added, “There’s no place like home for the holidays, and we can’t imagine a better gift than getting to reunite with Julian, Gareth, and the entire ‘Downton’ family in 2021 to bring the Crawley’s back home for their fans.”
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
“We are totally committed to making a sequel if we can bring all the elements back,” Neame told ET last April. “During the course of this year, we will have a script and we will try to assemble all the actors again, you know, as soon as we can.”
The news of a sequel makes good on a promise to fans ahead of the release of the 2019 instalment. At the time, Neame said that “if people come out in big numbers and come see us in theatres then there’s no reason we couldn’t do another.”
And at the film’s premiere, Michelle Dockery (Lady Mary), Michael Fox (Andy), Allen Leech (Tom Branson) and Phyllis Logan (Mrs. Hughes) all said they “absolutely would” do another, while teasing that Maggie Smith (Violet Crawley) may be the holdout. “You just have to talk to the notorious Maggie,” Leech joked.
In the end, “Downton Abbey” made nearly $97 million at the domestic box office, becoming Focus Features’ highest-grossing film of all time.
“Downton Abbey 2” is set to premiere on December 22, 2021.
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