It seems that the Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes is willing to finally tip his hand, and share what is next for the story of the Crawley family, as he admits that he has started writing the prequel. Sure, the Netflix series The Crown has made it a bit easier to move on since the last days of Downton Abbey, but fans are still missing Carson, Anna, and Lord Grantham. But Fellowes is not ready to spill all the details.
And Fellowes put several things in place beautifully to mesh his series, Downton Abbey, with The Crown, says the Inquisitr. The estate that plays the role of Downton Abbey is Highclere Castle, and Highclere is the birthplace of a Crown character that we meet towards the end of Season 1 of the Netflix series. Queen Elizabeth’s close childhood friend, Porchie, who manages the royal stables, was born at Highclere. Porchie (short for Lord Porchester), and later Lord Carnarvon, his father’s title, was literally to the manor born, and from early on, Porchie seemed like the best choice as a partner for Princess Elizabeth, but she only had eyes for Philip Mountbatten.
According to The Sun, the next Downton Abbey project for Julian Fellowes will be a prequel, that will take place before Downton Abbey, the famed ITV/PBS series started. Think of it as Downton Abbey, the early years, before the Titanic crashed, and fans learned what an entail means. But Fellowes is hinting that it might not be just one project, but two. He is said to be planning some Downton for the big screen, and more for the small screen.
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But shockingly, Fellowes says he is planning to scrap the whole cast, and start fresh with all new actors.
“I think it would be possible to do a prequel that was re-cast and do a sort of a love story so you went right back and had the young cast arriving in the show as footmen and Mrs. Patmore being a kitchen maid.”
Wait, Mrs. Patmore used to be Daisy?
Fellowes says, in his mind, he is thinking of a story that starts several decades before the first episode of the original Downton Abbey, before Lady Mary was born, and likely, we will meet Lord Grantham, husband of the Dowager Countess.
“It would work if you told everyone’s story from 30 years before. You could do that with a different cast.”
Only the timeless Elizabeth McGovern would be able to pull off a younger version of her character, Cora Levinson. This would be the idea for television, but for a big screen version, Fellowes would like to include the original cast, but he knows getting them all back together might be a challenge. Recently, at the Hampstead Literary Festival, Fellowes says his fingers are crossed.
“I hope there is going to be a film. I would like there to be a film. There are many factors as like all the actors in Downton, we made them famous. Now they have all gone off and they are doing films, theatre or TV series so it will be quite difficult rounding them up.”
But Julian Fellowes doesn’t have to worry that all of his leads have gotten too big and too serious to return to Downton Abbey, because two of his leading ladies are still goofy. Or is that Goofy? People Magazine said that last week Laura Carmichael and Michelle Dockery (Lady Edith and Lady Mary, respectively) were caught having a blast at Disney Land with Goofy, dressed for the event in top hat and tails.
The cast of Downton Abbey, including Dockery, Elizabeth McGovern, Lesley Nicol, Allen Leech, Phyllis Logan, and more, is said to still be tight, posing together last month at the Screen Actor’s Guild Awards. Logan, aka Mrs. Hughes, says the cast sees each other, in bits and pieces, pretty regularly.
“We bump into one another. We did have a meet-up recently. Some of us were all there — 30 of us. We had dinner.”
There are fans who would pay big money to get an invite to that dinner party.
But when Logan was asked what Julian Fellowes had planned, she coyly answered that she couldn’t say, but it seems like she thinks it would be a big deal.
“Woah, we can’t say. Off the Richter scale!”
Are you a Downton Abbey Fan? What would you like Julian Fellowes to do next with the series?
[Featured Image by PBS]