“Downton Abbey” is heading back to the big screen!
A second “Downton Abbey” film is on the way, and it will hit theaters just in time for the holidays this year on Dec. 22.
“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 reunited with the much beloved characters of Downton Abbey,” producer Gareth Neame said in a statement.
The plot of the sequel is still under wraps, but the original principal cast is set to return. Julian Fellowes, who wrote and created the TV series, will also return to write the sequel’s screenplay.
In addition to the familiar faces, several new cast members will also join, including “Hannibal” star Hugh Dancy and “Guardians of the Galaxy” actor Laura Haddock, as well as British actor Dominic West, known for his roles in “The Wire” and “The Affair,” and French actor Nathalie Baye.
The first “Downton Abbey” film in 2019 followed the Crawley family and the Downton staff as they prepared for a royal visit from the king and queen of England. That film’s storyline began in 1927, picking up about a year or so after the TV series finale.
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Earlier this year, Hugh Bonneville, who played Robert Crawley in the series and the first film, teased the possibility of a sequel.
“Here’s the deal, if everybody who is offered a vaccine takes a vaccine, we can make a movie, we will make a movie,” he said in a February interview with the BBC’s “The Zoe Ball Breakfast Show,” according to Variety.
“There is a thing called coronavirus knocking around, and until that is under control in a sensible way, we are not going to be able to get all those ducks in a row. Mixing my metaphors here,” he said.
“But there is certainly the intention to do it,” Bonneville added. “We would love to do it, we are desperate to do it, and I think it’s the sort of pleasurable release of a movie like the first one was, that audiences would enjoy after all of this mess we have been through.”