Good news for fans of reassuringly British period dramas everywhere: the long-rumoured Downton Abbey film has finally been confirmed – but it seems no one has told the cast yet…
Speaking at the launch of Downton Abbey: The Exhibition, a new immersive Downton experience that is kick-starting a world tour with a stint in Singapore, NBC Universal International Studios president Michael Edelstein told the Associated Press that the movie has officially received the green light.
‘There’s a movie in the works. It’s been in the works for some time. We are working on getting the script right and then we’ve got to figure out how to get the [cast] together,’ he said. ‘Because as you know, people go on and do other things. But we’re hopeful to make a movie sometime next year.’
An earlier report from The Sun had speculated that filming was set to begin in September 2017, but it seems that the production is in fact in earlier stages than anticipated.
Speaking to AP in response to Edelstein’s comments, Laura Carmichael, who played Lady Edith Crawley in all six seasons of the hit show, revealed that the cast were still in the dark about the proposed film. ‘Well, tell my agent, because we’re still waiting to know,’ she said. ‘We’re hoping that will happen soon.’
‘Oh, well, you’ve got confirmation before us,’ Sophie McShera (who played kitchen maid Daisy) told AP. ‘We have no idea if that’s happening. But we would all love to be part of the film if it was to happen, for sure.’
After six highly successful seasons, Downton Abbey bowed out on Christmas Day in 2015 with a feature-length special episode, though creator Julian Fellowes has since repeatedly expressed his desire to revisit the characters.
Discussing the possibility of a big-screen outing for the Crawleys earlier this year, Fellowes revealed ‘I’ve done some work on the script, because I don’t want to find there’s a green light and no script read […] Then the biggest difficulty will be rounding up the cast as, compared with most series, it has such a large cast. And it needs them to feel Downtonesque.’