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In the time since Downton Abbey ended its run on PBS and ITV, there have been rumors a movie might be coming. Last we heard, Julian Fellowes and co. already had a script together and were hoping to make a film based on the TV show's characters. Now, Michael Edelstein, who runs NBCUniversal International Studios, says the movie is hoping to get off the ground, and fairly soon.
The NBCUniversal exec had a lot to say about the movie, noting that it had been in the works for some time--which we knew--before revealing that the movie will shoot in 2018.
We are working on getting the script right and then we've got to figure out how to get the (cast) together. Because as you know, people go on and do other things. But we're hopeful to make a movie sometime next year.
At this juncture, 2018 still feels a ways away, but really we're already halfway through the year. And if the Downton Abbey cast can all get locked into contracts for the movie as Yahoo implies, and show up to film it early in 2018, there's theoretically the possibility that we could even get the film late next year or early in 2019. I'm not counting my chickens before they hatch, but it's all happening, people.
The casting issue is doubtless going to be the biggest for Downton Abbey. Maggie Smith, who played the Dowager Countess on the hit series, has already said her character is way too old to make a return. If a movie happens, she hopes it will start with her funeral. Jeremy Swift broke the news that he had seen a script a few months later, but even the actor who played Spratt practically noted that other actors from the show have moved on to other big projects. Michelle Dockery, for instance, is on TNT's Good Behavior, which was renewed for Season 2. Jim Carter's in the most recent Transformers movie The Last Knight and has other big screen projects in the works. Elizabeth McGovern is doing a PBS Masterpiece film with Downton Abbey's Julian Fellowes called The Chaperone. All of these people likely have time somewhere in their schedules to film a Downton Abbey movie, but it's getting people together around the same time that could be the logistical problem.
Downton Abbey has a ton of characters both from the upstairs world and the downstairs world that fans have engaged with, and presumably Julian Fellowes and his team would want to touch base with most of those characters during the upcoming movie (well, maybe sans the Dowager Countess). Of course, we don't even have any sort of plot details, yet, and we can't wait to hear more about what could be coming to the big screen. For now, here's our full movies schedule.