Downton Abbey 2 has been delayed and is now due for release in 2022.
The sequel to the 2019 adaptation, based on the much-loved ITV period drama, was set to arrive in time for the festive season on December 22, but will now be released next spring, Deadline reports. The official release date is March 18, 2022.
In April this year, Universal Studios confirmed the former release date along with new cast members including Dominic West, Hugh Dancy, Nathalie Baye and Laura Haddock.
The studio had tweeted: "We're thrilled to announce that Julian Fellowes and the entire Downton cast are back for #DowntonAbbey2, with Hugh Dancy, Laura Haddock, Nathalie Baye and Dominic West joining! See the film in theaters this Christmas."
Producer Gareth Neame said that he hoped the news would give Downton fans something to look forward to following a difficult 12 months.
"After a very challenging year with so many of us separated from family and friends, it is a huge comfort to think that better times are ahead and that next Christmas we will be re-united with the much beloved characters of Downton Abbey," he said.
Plot details are being kept secret for now. The first film featured the aristocratic Crawley family preparing to receive a visit from King George V and Queen Mary. It received mostly favourable reviews and grossed $194m worldwide.
Downton creator Julian Fellowes has written the screenplay for the second film.
In November last year, Michelle Dockery confirmed that she would return to her role as Lady Mary Crawley for a second movie.
"There's something reassuring about that time without technology and today's fast pace of life,” she told us of the appeal of the show. “The characters of Downton, although they’re from a different time and have very different circumstances to most people, are relatable. Everyone has their favourite Downton character. I love escaping into period dramas and falling into the past."
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