As Lady Crawley says, there’s never a dull moment! Downton Abbey 2 is officially in the works, and the film is coming sooner than you’d think.
“We’re thrilled to announce that Julian Fellowes and the entire Downton cast are back for #DowntonAbbey2,” the official Downton Abbey Twitter account wrote in a statement in April 2021.
Downton Abbey follows the lives of the Crawley family and their staff in the English countryside in the early 1900s. Fellowes, he PBS series’ original creator will return to write the screenplay for the second film, while Simon Curtis will join the team to direct. The sequel is currently in production and is set to be released on March 18, 2022.
The show’s entire principal cast, including Maggie Smith, Imelda Staunton, Michelle Dockery and Hugh Bonneville, is expected to reprise their roles while Hugh Dancy, Laura Haddock, Nathalie Baye and Dominic West will join the fun for the first time — though there’s no telling what their ranks in the household may be.
Bonneville, who plays patriarch Robert Crawley, shared his excitement for his characters’ return with a masked-up selfie in April 2021. “Good to be back. #DowntonAbbey2,” he wrote, holding up two fingers as he stood in front of a poster from the series.
Highclere Castle, the filming location for the fictional Downton Abbey, also shared their excitement via Twitter. “Great to have the crew and cast back here,” the castle’s official account wrote.
After the original series, which aired from 2010 to 2015, aired its finale, fans immediately started clamoring for a film. They got their wish in September 2019, when the first Downton Abbey movie debuted. During the film, the Crawleys prepared to greet the most important visitor they’d ever hosted at their ancestral home: King George V and Queen Mary (the future grandparents of Queen Elizabeth II).
“When you walk back onto set, it feels like the first season, like nothing’s changed,” Dockery, who plays eldest Crawley daughter Lady Mary, told Harper’s Bazaar in 2019. “We were all part of this big family and this phenomenon that took us all by surprise. Now I pinch myself, really, because it’s ongoing. And there were many good reasons to do the film, but it also felt like people would not stop talking unless we did a film. Meeting people in the street, and at work — it’s constantly a question: ‘Is there going to be any more?’ It felt like the audience was not quite done with it.”
Dockery was right about the audience, as the first movie raked in more than $237 million at the box office and earned two nominations at the 2020 Critics’ Choice Movie Awards.
Despite fan enthusiasm, some of the cast worried that it would be hard to recreate the magic after six seasons of near perfection. “I was really relieved that I wasn’t the one who had to write it,” Elizabeth McGovern (Cora Crawley) told CBS News in 2019. “Because I did feel a lot of pressure. I mean, I was actually thinking, ‘Is this such a good idea?’ Because people have so much affection for those characters and for that series. And it’s a risk.”
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The risk paid off! Keep scrolling for everything to know about the Downton Abbey movie sequel: