It was a long time coming, but the Downton Abbey movie is finally out in cinemas. Is this the end of the story, though?
Not necessarily, according to producer Gareth Neame, as there is a “plan” for a sequel if the first movie does well enough.
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Will there be a Downton Abbey 2?
Related: Downton Abbey movie review
“We’re percolating [ideas], back of the mind… We’ll know soon and how popular it’s been, or whether people just thought it was for the TV and that was that. I hope it’s not the latter,” he told Digital Spy.
Will there be a Downton Abbey 2?
But if the doors of Downton do open again, what can we expect from a sequel? And bear in mind, there are spoilers for the first movie ahead…
Downton Abbey 2 cast: Who’s coming back?
As Fellowes himself spoiled, Downton Abbey didn’t suddenly go all Avengers: Infinity War on us. That means that if there is a sequel, we can expect most of the main cast back, including the likes of Hugh Bonneville, Laura Carmichael, Jim Carter, Michelle Dockery, Joanne Froggatt, Matthew Goode, Allen Leech and Robert James-Collier.
As with the first movie, we imagine it would be tricky to get them all together again, but the cast seem up for another outing.
“If people love this. If this goes down well and people enjoy it, why not? It gives people a lot of pleasure, the television series gave a lot of pleasure, hopefully this film will. Why not do another one? It’d be a treat,” Carter said.
One regular cast member who probably won’t return for a sequel though is Maggie Smith as the sharp-tongued Dowager Countess. She reveals at the end of the first movie that she is dying, so maybe her theory about the first movie will come true in the sequel.
“I was firmly convinced it would start with the funeral,” Smith said. “I could croak it. It would just start with the body.”
The first movie does have some notable absences, such as Samantha Bond’s Lady Rosamund and Sue Johnston’s Gladys Denker, so perhaps the sequel will find room for them to return.
Downton Abbey 2 release date: When can we expect it?
Even though it took its sweet time to get officially confirmed, it didn’t actually take that long for the first movie to hit cinemas once it was greenlit.
The movie was announced in July 2018, filmed from August-November 2018 and arrived in cinemas on September 13, 2019.
Late September feels like a good release slot for a Downton Abbey movie, so we wouldn’t expect the sequel to arrive in September 2020, even if it gets confirmed quickly. So we reckon we’re probably looking at September 2021 if it happens at all.
Downton Abbey 2 plot: What will it be about?
Beyond the Dowager Countess revealing that she’s dying, there’s relatively little in the first movie to set up a sequel.
In fact, given that the final shot sees Carson and Mrs Hughes walking away from Downton, saying how it’ll still be there in 100 years, there is a feeling of finality about the movie.
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That’s likely Fellowes making sure it succeeds as a standalone if a sequel doesn’t happen.
He’s said that there are “very loose ideas” for the sequel: “Only so that we don’t have to start from scratch if there is one. We know a direction we would go in.”
What that direction is remains to be seen.
Downton Abbey 2 trailer: When will it land?
We didn’t get the first trailer for the first movie until May 2019, four months before release, so it’s safe to say that there’s a long wait in store for any sequel footage.
Downton Abbey is in cinemas now.
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