It is a truth universally acknowledged that a Sunday evening must be in want of a period drama

‘Downton still stands and the Crawleys are still in it’

‘Downton still stands and the Crawleys are still in it’

* Spoilers if you haven’t watched the last series of Downton including the Christmas Finale (aired in 2015). Although if you haven’t, quite frankly, what have you been doing with your time?! Get on Amazon Prime immediately. No spoilers about the film. *

The long-anticipated Downton Abbey film has finally been confirmed after nearly three years of rumours, hopes and prayers. Filming will start at the glorious Highclere Castle in Hampshire this summer with much of the series six ensemble cast on board.

Writer Julian Fellowes is back at the helm with all the usual suspects lined up to star on the big screen including Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary, Joanna Froggatt as Anna Bates and Hugh Bonneville as Lord Grantham. Despite expressing doubts about a future Downton Film (she claimed it might be ‘squeezing it dry’) there is much jubilation that Dame Maggie Smith is expected to reprise her role as the redoubtable Dowager Countess. According to the press release, the ‘original principal cast from the acclaimed television series have assembled to return for the feature.’ It is understood that this does not include the lovely Lady Rose played by Lily James, but then she has been jolly busy in Guernsey (well Devon and Cornwall actually) and Greece hasn’t she.

The final sixth series of Downton ended with three weddings, a longed-for baby and the retirement of the irreplaceable Mr Carson. The only hint as to the timeline or potential plot came from a film executive who called it ‘the next chapter’ in the story of the Crawley family #notexactlyaspoiler. 

No official release date as yet but Lord Grantham (Hugh Bonneville) tweeted the above picture with a not-so-cryptic ‘2019’ so that might give us a clue!!