The days of Downton Abbey were the days. Remember when you could cozy up every Sunday at 9pm for a drama-filled hour of bitchy servants (we’re looking at you O’Brien), demanding aristocrats and convoluted romance plots? Good times. Despite the fact that by its’ sixth and final series Julian Fellowes had kinda run out of ideas for his intense family drama, it still holds a special and nostalgic place in our hearts, which is why we were so buzzed to find out that we were finally getting a Downton Abbey film. So, here’s everything you need to know, Downton fans!
1. Release Date
The film will be on our cinema screens on 13th September this year in the UK, so get your thermos flasks and autumn coats at the ready!
2. Who’s Directing it?
The film is directed by Michael Engler, who is best known for being one of the directors of Sex and the City, so maybe a surprising choice for a Downton film- The Dowager Countess would definitely not approve!
3. Who’s writing it?
Julian Fellowes has both written the screenplay for the movie and is one of the producers of the film, so we can have faith that the film will stay true to the general vibe of the series.
4. Who’s in it?
The film will bring back all of our old favourites: Michelle Dockery and Laura Carmichael as the Crawley sisters, Elizabeth McGovern and Hugh Bonneville as the Earl and Countess of Grantham, and Phyllis Logan and Jim Carter as Mrs Hughes and Carson (who are now a couple remember). Unfortunately, with the remake we will not be able to avoid the irritating drama-plagued storyline of Anna and Bates ( Joanne Froggatt and Brendan Coyle), nor will we be able to have Matthew (Dan Stevens) back, as the film will take place after his death; but we will be graced by the wonderful and hilarious Maggie Smith, who plays the Dowager Countess of Grantham.
5. What can we gauge from the trailer?
The trailer begins with an emotional rendition of the much beloved theme tune, accompanied by images of the familiar bells, winding of the clock, and opulent entrance hall, all of which are sure to get fans feeling nostalgic in the first three seconds. Things seemed to have changed at Downton: the trailer opens with Lord Grantham announcing proudly that they have “No maid, no valet, no nanny, even!” a far cry from the army of servants who lived at Downton when the series started. Edith’s husband, Bertie Pelham (Harry Hadden-Paton) replies to this statement by informing us that the film is set in 1927, taking place a year after the events of the final series. We are shown shots of Allen Leech watching his character Tom Branson’s, Edith’s, and Mary’s children, who represent the next generation of Crawleys; Cora and Robert share a loving kiss, and it is clear that Violet and Isabelle’s turbulent friendship is still going strong. The familiar face of Thomas (Rob James-Collier) appears in the trailer too with a new love interest, Mrs Patmore is still fretting over the food, and Daisy too is can be seen in the ranks, sharing a heart warming toast with the inhabitants of “downstairs”. The premise of the film is a royal visit: “The King and Queen are coming to Downton!” announces Lord Grantham to a shocked Mary (who still seems to be happily married to her husband Henry Talbot, played by Matthew Goode) and preparations for this include bringing back Carson who has apparently retired. There are some spanners in the works however- Mary asks Anna “Should we really go on with it?” to which her maid replies “You mean, leave Downton?” though it is ambiguous as to who this applies to, and the eldest Crawley sister is caught kissing on the stairs by Tom Branson- possibly someone who isn’t her husband.
All in all, we can’t wait to see what September has in hold!