It’s the worst kept secret in British film currently, but it’s finally been confirmed by Universal UK that Downton Abbey 2, a direct sequel to the hit Downton film released a few years ago, is officially entering production. The cast is returning along with the original production team. Even Maggie Smith.
Here’s the official tweet:
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 cinemas this Christmas. pic.twitter.com/bbqbDvgax4
— Universal Pictures UK (@universaluk) April 19, 2021
Here are all the lovely details from the official press release:
The original principal cast will all once again return for the second film which began production last week and is set to release Christmas 2021 on December 22, 2021. Original stars include Hugh Bonneville, Michelle Dockery, Imelda Staunton and Maggie Smith.
In addition, Hugh Dancy, Laura Haddock, Nathalie Baye and Dominic West will join the cast. Downton creator Julian Fellowes will once again write the film’s screenplay, with Emmy winners Gareth Neame and Liz Trubridge back to produce with Fellowes. BAFTA and Emmy-nominated director Simon Curtis (My Week with Marilyn) will join the filmmaking team to direct the sequel.
Gareth Neame, the film’s producer and executive chairman of Carnival Films said: “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.”
Focus Features chairman Peter Kujawski added: “There’s no place like home for the holidays, and we can’t imagine a better gift than getting to reunite with Julian, Gareth, and the entire Downton family in 2021 to bring the Crawley’s back home for their fans.”
Focus Features and Universal Pictures International will distribute.
I find it rather optimistic that they’re committing this early to just a cinema release when in the last year many ‘smaller’ films like this have been released right to On Demand/Rentals/etc rather than theaters.
We shall see!