As foreseeable as the arrival of World War One at the end of the first season, as inevitable as the death of Plot Obstacle Lavinia Swire, we now have confirmation of a Downton Abbey feature film.
It had to happen. It was always going to happen. I’m just surprised it didn’t happen sooner.
Series creator Julian Fellows and Brian Perival, who directed the pilot, will lead the project, set to begin filming soon.
No word yet on a complete cast list, but Deadline is reporting that at least three of the estate essentials (Michelle Dockery, Hugh Bonneville, and Maggie Smith) are set to return. I’m hoping, of course, for as much of the original cast as possible, but I think it’s safe to say that Dan Stevens will likely not be returning.
If you recall (and you’d be forgiven for forgetting) the series’ 2015 finale, nearly everyone was left in relatively happy stasis. New marriages and babies and businesses eased the Crawleys and company into the new century at long last.
There is, frankly, nothing for this movie to do except tear our favorite couples and families and friendships apart. My money is on only one major death (Downton was always stingy with them) but it’ll be a doozy.
Personally, I’m hoping for a time jump between the show and the movie, though the return of Maggie Smith makes that seem unlikely. But imagine–how much would you love seeing this family in another couple decades, perhaps as WWII ends?