There is no shortage of ideas when it comes to where the Downton Abbey universe should go next. At least, that’s what it seems like when you talk to fans, and even the cast of this year’s delightful film, about the prospect of Downton Abbey 2. That last group is especially important, because certain cast members have some pretty neat ideas on where the next potential (probable?) film should go.
I know this because during a recent Downton Abbey home video junket in London, I was able to speak to Jim Carter and Phyllis Logan, Mr. Carson and Mrs. Hughes themselves, as well as Sophie McShera and Michael C. Fox, the pair who play Daisy and Andy, respectively.
The talk eventually turned to that “S” word everyone has been throwing around since the film banked a seriously impressive sum: Sequel. Naturally, I had to ask both pairs where they would want a second trip to Downton Abbey to go, and the answers were as hysterical as they were thought provoking. We’ll start with Sophie McShera and Michael C. Fox, as they laid out the following playful scenario for a Downton Abbey sequel:
Sophie McShera: Well, he wants us to get married. And that’d be fun, we’re thinking opening, the opening scene: our wedding day. But then we don’t have any more ideas, so we need Julian [Fellowes] to tell us.
Michael C. Fox: We’ll then divorce.
McShera: Divorce, yeah. Married, baby, divorce. All in the one film.
Considering the ups and downs that Daisy and Andy have already gone through, in both the hit ITV series and the record-breaking Focus Features film, a very rocky road for the two young lovers seems both totally apt and increasingly sad. With both parties unlucky in love, a divorce after childbirth feels like the ultimate kick to the shins. Luckily, they were being at least somewhat playful during the interview.
Then again, this is the couple that saw marital indecision solved by Andy’s confession that he wrecked the Crawley estate’s boiler in a fit of jealous rage. So if a handsome plumber couldn’t tear them apart, is there really anything that can?
However, Downton Abbey is a panoply of stories involving a vast cast of actors, all of which get their moment in the sun. Which is literally what would happen if Jim Carter and Phyllis Logan get their particular spinoff, as the retired butler and still active housemaid of the manor would be about to set sail for this romantic adventure:
Jim Carter: The Maldives. Mr. Carson and Mrs. Hughes go to the Maldives…
Phyllis Logan: …set up a little B&B.
Carter: It takes nine weeks to get there on a package steamer. But once we’re there, you burn in the sun being Scottish, and I tan.
That sounds pretty lovely and innocent so far, right? Well, you may want to hold up before you start sighing those romantic sighs, as not only the back and forth between Carter and Logan a fantastic sight to see in the video coverage below, Ms. Logan in particular has an interesting twist to add to the potential suntanning scene.
As Downton Abbey’s film entry into this year’s market felt more centered on the staff of the house, it feels fitting that a follow-up could juxtapose the stories of both Daisy and Andy with Mr. Carson and Mrs. Hughes. While you’d have one story of young love weathering the storm in its infancy, the other half is a tale of a couple who have loved each other for so long finally vindicating their romance.
During these conversation on behalf of CinemaBlend, I truly did get to hear some keen insight into how Downton Abbey has changed over the years, as well as some conversation on how they felt when the Downton Abbey movie became a true blue reality to their eager minds.
Of course, these ideas are far from set in stone, but to be completely honest, they show how much the actors who are staples in the fabric of this iconic drama know their respective characters. While it’s certainly easy to throw out an idea or two that makes for amusing answers in an interview, being a fan of the show myself, I’d totally watch a film made up of the stories crafted above.
It’s clear the cast of Downton Abbey have probably fielded enough questions about a potential sequel that they’ve been able to work these pitches into fighting form. And while they may not be totally serious prospects, the humor comes from a place of love and respect for Julian Fellowes’ characters and the world they inhabit. Not to mention, the attitude towards the future of the franchise feels positively rosy, because that same jocular tone seems to be a good indicator that the idea of getting back together for yet another cinematic incarnation isn’t one that the folks who would bring it to life particularly dread. Now, it's just about working the details out.
For as many ideas as the cast may have for where Downton Abbey should go next, it all comes down to creator/writer Julian Fellowes finding that special idea that makes his mind explode with similar possibilities. Something that, as we’ve seen in the past, isn’t as easy as one would think.
Still, if Fellowes feels that he’s stuck in a rut, and needs some fuel for the story fires that could propel Downton Abbey to deliver more moments that delight superfans and stymy, but entertain, newcomers, he certainly knows where to go now. Downton Abbey is currently available on digital HD, as well as Blu-ray and DVD. If you’re looking for a last minute holiday gift, you can’t go wrong with this heartwarming film.