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Downton Abbey ended its run in the U.K. way back in 2015, although those episodes ended up airing in the States a few months later. Since the wildly popular ITV series ended, there have been rumors that Julian Fellowes and co. might be putting together a big screen follow-up starring our favorite characters. As actors including Michelle Dockery have moved on to other projects in Downton Abbey's wake, it seems as if the movie might have been put on the backburner. However, Downton Abbey actor Jeremy Swift said on Lorraine that a script has already been put written. Here's what he had to say:
There is a film script which we've all been sent, but it disappeared in a Mission: Impossible style from our emails. With a little puff. It's supposed to be happening, filming, this year but it hasn't been locked down yet. I think the logistics are lined up.
Speaking on Lorraine, Jeremy Swift, who played the Dowager Countess' butler Spratt on the show, revealed there has been a script floating around somewhere and that a lot of people really do want the movie to come together. It's honestly great news to hear that people still seem to care about the film project, as this sort of movie is the type of project that could languish in developmental hell for quite some time.
Regardless, what is keeping the Downton Abbey movie from jumping into production is the same sort of thing plaguing revivals like Arrested Development or Gilmore Girls: it's all about being able to get the actors' schedules to align. Plenty of the actors on the show have gone on to other projects, as Jeremy Swift himself noted:
Michelle Dockery and people like that have flown off into the world doing American pilots so it's just getting everybody in that same space of time.
Michelle Dockery is probably the person we think of first when we think of Downton Abbey characters taking on new projects. She's starring in Good Behavior on TNT, which takes up some time; regardless, she has stated she would be open to coming back for a film. However, she's not the only one who is busy. Hugh Bonneville has a few movies in the works, including Paddington 2, which has also been in the works for a while. Joanne Froggatt has joined the TV series Liar. Lesley Nicol is in The Catch and Allen Leech is in Bellevue. The bigger the ensemble cast, the harder it is to bring everyone together.