It’s been years since fans were taken inside Downton Abbey, aka Highclere Castle, to see the Crawley family and their staff, but the Downton Abbey movie is officially underway. Principle photography has started in London, and the original cast is all on board and back at work.
CinemaBlend says that the popular show, which first aired in 2010 and has a following around the world, will tell a new story with the movie of the family and staff moving on for the next decade. The last holdout from the original cast was Dame Maggie Smith, who plays the Dowager Countess, and now she is also back for the movie.
Vanity Fair says that the new Downton Abbey movie will make Downton purists and Harry Potter fans happy with new cast additions. Imelda Staunton, better known as her Harry Potter character Dolores Umbridge, will come on board, and fun fact, in real life, she is married to Jim Carter, known to fans as Carson.
Hints from the cast say that the big event that will bring everyone back to Downton Abbey is the 40th anniversary of Robert and Cora. The only cast member we know we won’t see is Cousin Rose (Lily James), whose character moved to New York.
— Harper's Bazaar UK (@BazaarUK) September 2, 2018
And though we don’t know what roles they will play just yet, many familiar faces from other popular British shows (and Netflix) will be seen in the Downton Abbey movie.
“Other newly announced cast members include Geraldine James (Anne with an E), Simon Jones (The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, Brideshead Revisited), David Haig (Killing Eve), Tuppence Middleton (The Imitation Game, Sense8), Kate Phillips (Peaky Blinders, The Crown) and Stephen Campbell Moore (History Boys, Lark Rise to Candleford).”
Sources say that Julian Fellowes might have delivered a script for the Downton Abbey movie sooner but he needed to convince Maggie Smith to come back. Previously she had stated that she was done and if she was in the new movie, her character Violet Crawly would be in a coffin.
“I was firmly convinced it would start with the funeral. I could croak it and it would just start with the body.”
Smith had stated that she wanted to get back to her normal life, but she’s going to give Downton Abbey one more shot.
“I led a perfectly normal life until Downton Abbey. I’m not kidding. I’d go to theatres, I’d go to galleries, things like that on my own. And now I can’t and that’s awful. The Fulham Road’s dodgy!”
The Downton Abbey movie should be in theaters in 2019.