For Downton Abbey fans, after witnessing the delightful end to the highly-acclaimed series in 2016, the announcement of a full-length feature film for the Crawley family was quite the welcome surprise. Although not all announcements such as these pan out, the Downton Abbey movie is moving right along, as it has started principle photography in London. This exciting project will reunite the main original cast along with some fresh additions as well.

The announcement was detailed in a press release by Focus Features and Carnival Films, who are behind the development of the project. The Downton Abbey movie has the television series' creator Julian Fellowes back as screenwriter and producer alongside Gareth Neame and Liz Trubridge. Brian Percival, who also directed Downton Abbey's pilot episode, will be the film's director and executive producer. Details of the movie's story has been kept under wraps, but new talent recently joined the project. Best known for portraying Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter films, Imelda Staunton is officially onboard, including Geraldine James from Netflix's Anne with an E, Sense8's Tuppence Middleton, and Stephen Campbell Moore from Amazon miniseries The Last Post.

Downton Abbey first aired in 2010 and continued its run for six seasons. The show chronicled the fictional lives of the aristocratic Crawley family, and the servants who work for them at the turn of the 20th century. While it was on the air, the television show was often recognized, winning three Golden Globes and 15 Emmy awards. Many fans were sad to hear that the series would be ending so soon, creator Julian Fellowes maintained that she felt all the characters had been explored to capacity and feared the characters would get stuck in re-runs if stayed on air. With Fellowes back for the Downton Abbey movie, the creator most definitely found enough material for a full-length film for the characters, perhaps this time as a tribute to the fans. The characters did get quite the happy ending, so it's anyone's guess what will play out in the upcoming film.

Besides reprising writing for familiar characters on the Downton Abbey movie, Julian Fellowes is moving on to additional television endeavors, with Netflix series The English Game in development and NBC's The Guided Age also in the works. During Downton Abbey's six years on PBS and ITV many breakout stars have passed through, including Lilly James and Dan Stevens. James, who recently stole the show in Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, said she will not be a part of the project, because her character just didn't fit into movie-- since Rose moved to America. Dan Stevens, who has seen success on FX series Legion and in the live-action Beauty and the Beast, recently teased the possible return of Matthew Crawley.

The Downton Abbey movie release date has yet to be confirmed but stay tuned for more CinemaBlend updates as they become available.

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