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Downton Abbey fans got a huge surprise recently when it was announced that the series would get a feature-length adaptation on the big screen. There's a lot of anticipation in terms of how many beloved aspects of the original story will transition to this new format, but now it looks like one particular element will not return for the film: Lily James' Rose. The Baby Driver actress opened up in a recent interview to address her absence from the Downton Abbey movie, explaining:
My character Rose moved off to New York, so it would be farfetched to bring her back. I would have loved to have come back for a scene, but for a movie it can't be like a Christmas special and it needs to be a focused storyline. There was no space for Rose.
Sorry to break it to you, Downton Abbey fans, but now we can confirm that Rose will not be part of the upcoming film adaptation. As Lily James explained, her character left the series to head off to America, making it difficult to find an organic, story-based way to bring her back into the fold. She would've returned if the story had permitted her to do so, but it looks like that ended up not being the case.
Although some fans might be disappointed by Lily James' remarks to People stating that she won't be coming back, there's a certain amount of logic to her comments. The folks behind the movie clearly do not want to make something that relies on fan service to please members of the audience, which means honoring the fact that James' character left the story. Also, although Rose won't return, the movie is bringing back original cast members Michelle Dockery, Maggie Smith, and Hugh Bonneville, as well as director Brian Percival.
Of course, it's also worth mentioning that Lily James already has plenty of work on her plate at the moment, which will likely keep her busy for the foreseeable future. The 29-year-old actress has blown up since her tenure on the hit series, and she has since gone on to perform in films like Darkest Hour, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and Sorry to Bother You. She's clearly not hurting for work at the moment, and while fans obviously would love to see her come back, her assessment of the situations does arguably make it sound like it will ultimately be better for everyone if Rose stays in New York and does not make a return for the upcoming film adaptation of the beloved historical drama.