Everything we know so far about the new Downton Abbey film

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Photo credit: Focus Features
Photo credit: Focus Features

It's a new era for the Crawley family as they prepare to embrace the 1930s in the forthcoming Downton Abbey movie, due to arrive in cinemas in spring next year.

While Downton creator Julian Fellowes is currently keeping plot details under wraps, he's declared the latest film adaptation of the beloved ITV period drama as "unashamedly feel-good".

First-look images released last week unveiled Laura Haddock debuting the ultra glamorous Myrna Dalgleish, and much-loved original cast members Hugh Bonneville as the Earl of Grantham, and Michelle Dockery as Mary Crawley, standing on the stairs of their stately home.

Photo credit: Focus Features
Photo credit: Focus Features

The sequel, titled A New Era, will be released in cinemas next year following delays due to Covid-19, and will pick up where the last film left off.

Here's everything else we know about Downton Abbey: A New Era below...

When will it be released?

The new Downton Abbey film will arrive in cinemas globally on March 18, 2022. The film was set to be released in time for Christmas — as last year's one was — but sadly it had to be pushed back to spring due to pandemic restrictions.

What will it be about?

Julian Fellowes has returned to write the script for the second film, and although plot details are being kept top secret for now, we do know that the sequel will pick up where the last film left off in the late 1920s.

"It's really a new era," creator Julian Fellowes recently told People. "The further the '20s went along, the more the world was changing in so many ways. Everything from entertainment to transport was really different by the end of the '20s. That's what we're referring to in that.

"As we know from the last film, Mary may not be the titular head of the household, but she is effectively running the show. We take that further. We're trying to mark the change — the fact that Crawleys of Downton are nearly in the 1930s, which is merely the beginning of the modern world."

Photo credit: Ben Blackall
Photo credit: Ben Blackall

Describing it the period drama as an "unashamedly feel-good movie", he added: "I like the idea that people go into the movie and have a great two hours and then go out to have dinner. That seems to me to be a good thing. If we are useful for cheering people up and giving them an easy time of it, that doesn't bother me."

Meanwhile Jim Carson, who plays the ever-loyal Mr Carson, previously revealed that viewers could be in for a lot of fun next year as he called the script "very funny".

"If you promise not to tell anyone, I'll let you know that we've seen a script… The script for a second film is there. We've seen it, it's very funny!" he told This Morning. "It's got all the same characters in, all the regular characters."

The first film featured the Crawley family receiving a visit by the King and Queen to their sprawling, family estate. There were plenty of questions left over that need to be addressed too: How is Mary handling the responsibility of managing the Crawley estate? Did Lady Edith Crawley safely deliver her child? Will we see Thomas exploring his sexuality? And will there be a dashing duke al la Bridgerton?

The Cast

The new film will feature the return of original cast members Dame Maggie Smith as the Dowager of Countess, Hugh Bonneville as Robert Crawley, Jim Carter as Mr Carson, Laura Carmichael as Lady Edith Crawley, Michelle Dockery as Mary Crawley, Elizabeth McGovern as the Countess of Grantham, Sophie McShera as Daisy, and Lesley Nichol as Mrs Patmore.

Allen Leech will be back as Tom Branson, Michael Fox as Andy, Harry Hadden-Paton will return as Bertie Pelham, and Tuppence Middleton will be reprising her role as Lucy Smith, who she debuted in the first film.

Photo credit: Ben Blackall
Photo credit: Ben Blackall

New images debut Laura Haddock as Myrna Dalgleish — although very little has been disclosed about her character. Fellow new stars also include Hugh Dancy, Dominic West and Nathalie Baye, who is reportedly playing an old friend of Violet Crawley's who comes to visit her.

The trailer

Focus Features recently released the first official trailer for the new film (watch in full above), which features the Dowager of Countess revealing that she has inherited a villa in the south of France from an old flame, with the Crawley family going off on holiday to stay at the grand establishment. Tom Branson can be seen remarrying Lucy Smith (chauffeur Branson tragically lost his wife Lady Sybill during labour back in series three), while Mr Carson jokes: "They better be warned, the British are coming."

In the meantime if you're looking to refresh your memory on all the Crawley family drama, the complete series of Downton Abbey is available to stream on Netflix now, and the first Downton Abbey film will be arriving to ITV next month.

Downton Abbey: A New Era will be released in cinemas on 18 March, 2022.

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