The long-awaited Downton Abbey movie is nearly here: it opens in U.K. theaters Friday, then in the U.S. a week later on September 20. The film’s world premiere took place in London’s Leicester Square last night, and the first critics’ reviews are out, so it’s pretty much inevitable that sequel talk is starting to spread.
The show’s writer-creator Julian Fellowes, who also wrote the film’s screenplay, said at the premiere last night that he has “very loose ideas” for a second movie.
“We know a direction we would go in, and who knows?” he told Digital Spy. “It all depends on how the picture is received. If the audience like it enough, then there may be another one. If they don’t, then there won’t be.”
Meanwhile, producer Gareth Neame told Variety: “I’m optimistic that, because it used to be such a water-cooler TV show, people will want to go and see the movie in theaters. Hopefully there will be an appetite to do more. It’s all down to how much the fans take to it. I think there is appetite from me and Julian and, I’ve heard, from the cast.”
Given that advance ticket sales for the movie got off to a very strong start last month, it’s definitely looking promising.
In the meantime, we have the first movie to look forward to. It centers on a visit from King George V and Queen Mary which irks the Downton Abbey staff when their contemporaries from the royal household try to take over. David Haig, who played Bill in Killing Eve’s first season (RIP), plays the formidable royal butler who clashes with Downton Abbey’s prim and proper Carson (Jim Carter).
Carter’s real-life wife, Imelda Staunton (Cranford, Vera Drake) plays another new character, Lady Bagshaw, who seems to be a match for Dame Maggie Smith‘s sharp-tongued Dowager Countess.
Of course, Downton faves Hugh Bonneville (Robert, Earl of Grantham), Joanne Froggatt (Anna Bates), Laura Carmichael (Lady Edith), Michelle Dockery (Lady Mary), Elizabeth McGovern (Cora, Countess of Grantham), Lesley Nicol (Mrs Patmore), Dame Penelope Wilton (Isobel, Baroness Merton) are all back for the movie, too.
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