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There's been talk ever since Downton Abbey wrapped up on ITV and PBS that we would be able to return to our favorite characters via a movie. A lot of people related to the show have been tentatively positive that the movie project would come to fruition, but there's certainly one curmudgeon in the lot. Dame Maggie Smith recently revealed that she is not super keen to see a Downton Abbey movie happen, for one big reason: she thinks the topic is tired at this point. Here's what she said.
I just think it's squeezing it dry, do you know what I mean? I don't know what it could possibly be. It was so meandering, what would you [do]? Anyway that's not my problem. That's the Lord's [Julian Fellowes'] problem.
Speaking at The BFI and Radio Times Festival, Maggie Smith certainly didn't mince words when she talked about her feelings regarding a Downton Abbey film. Of course, I suppose we shouldn't be surprised, as the veteran actress has in the past been open regarding her feelings about how long the series went on. At one point she mentioned she was happy about the show being over just because the math was ludicrous, joking her character was probably 110 years old by the end. Indeed, Downton Abbey did span an awfully long period of time during its run.
Maggie Smith was often on the fence regarding whether or not to return during Downton Abbey's original run on ITV. Before Season 3 and several other series, there were rumors she may not sign her contract that popped up every now and again. In many ways, Maggie Smith was less invested than much of the cast too, as she admitted she had never even watched the program. Still, in that time, Downton Abbey did experience plenty of cast upheaval, so it was rather lucky that one of the show's most interesting characters did return season after season. By the end, her character was rather old on the show, but still very much an integral member of the cast.
Still, Maggie Smith's comments don't necessarily exclude a Downton Abbey movie, as the woman who played the Dowager Countess also revealed exactly how a movie version could work, noting (via Radio Times),
I was firmly convinced it would start with the funeral. I thought it would be a bit like that. I could croak it. It would just start with the body. But I don't know. They talk about there being a film, but who knows?
Words of wisdom from the Dowager Countess, ladies and gentlemen. A funeral is a super common trope, but it would enable the show--or movie in this case--to go on without inconveniencing Maggie Smith any further. What do you think? Will a movie eventually prevail? Currently Julian Fellowes has a series over at Amazon, so we'll have to wait and see if he finds the time to do more. I'd have to say though, even if Downton Abbey did feel really finished when its story wrapped up, I am always a glutton for more.