How A Downton Abbey Sequel Could Bring Back Maggie Smith, According To The Producer

Dame Maggie Smith in official Downton Abbey poster

It wasn’t so long ago that the idea the Downton Abbey movie could get a sequel was a bit of a pipe dream. Now, the movie has gone on to win over fans and critics alike and has had a great box office return, already making five times its initial budget in theaters. A sequel could happen, and one producer has even hinted at a way to bring back Dame Maggie Smith.

It’s here I’m about to get into spoilers for the Downton Abbey movie. If you haven’t caught that movie yet, please hop out of this lovely article and into one of our spoiler-free articles!

Speaking in a recent interview, producer Gareth Neame spoke out on the possibility of a sequel to the Downton Abbey movie, noting that one of the big challenges would be the way this movie ends, but also hinting at a solution to the problem.

Well, we’ll see. There is a big matter at the end of the film that takes us in a slightly different direction… There have been misdiagnoses before, so you never know.

At the end of Downton Abbey, the movie featured a heart-to-heart between Lady Mary and the Dowager Countess. During the conversation, Mary’s grandmother revealed that she had been to see a doctor during a mysterious trip to London that occurred earlier in the movie. She revealed that she was OK with the news and knew Downton was in capable hands thanks to Lady Mary.

It was one of the finest moments in the movie and it seemed like a good place to close things, given that Maggie Smith had been open about how old her character would now be within the series' timeline in recent years.

However, despite earlier comments, it sounds like it didn’t take much to convince her to join Downton Abbey’s big screen venture this time around, and Gareth Neame told CinemaBlend previously that she said yes when she found out her schedule was open and that it helped she enjoyed the cast involved with the ITV series. Thus, it’s not a huge shock that Neame’s comments to The Telegraph also indicate perhaps the movie could find a way to bring Maggie Smith back for one more go.

Like some of the others close to the production, Gareth Neame also noted there is an opportunity for more movies in the future, particularly now the movie has been so well-received by fans.

We said before it came out that if the fans enjoy it and people come and see it, then maybe there could be another one. And I’m pleased to say it’s doing really well.

What that means for a sequel is still a giant question mark, but I do think the box office return has certainly proved there’s an audience demographic for this sort of property at the cinema. Now, what they would call that sequel is a whole other point of interest. Maybe a sequel would sort of be a Downton Abbey Presents: situation, with a subtitle following?

Either way, I can’t wait to (hopefully) find out.

Jessica Rawden
Managing Editor

Reality TV fan with a pinch of Disney fairy dust thrown in. Theme park junkie. If you’ve created a rom-com I’ve probably watched it.