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The Smooth Drive Home with Tina Hobley 4pm - 7pm
11 September 2018, 16:40
Welcome (back) to Downton...
After years of rumours, there will finally be a Downton Abbey movie.
The film adaptation of the popular ITV period drama was confirmed on July 13 and will enter production later in the summer.
"When the television series drew to a close it was our dream to bring the millions of global fans a movie and now, after getting many stars aligned, we are shortly to go into production," said producer Gareth Neame.
"Julian's script charms, thrills and entertains and in Brian Percival's hands we aim to deliver everything that one would hope for as Downton comes to the big screen."
The film is written by creator Julian Fellowes, and will be directed by Brian Percival, who also directed the show's original pilot episode. Here are all the big facts of the film so far...
So far, it is assumed that all of the original cast will return for the big-screen version, including Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary Crawley, Laura Carmichael as Lady Edith Crawley, Joanne Froggatt as Anna Bates, Hugh Bonneville as Robert Crawley and Elizabeth McGovern as Cora Crawley.
Dame Maggie Smith is also set to return as Violet Crawley, despite previously saying a movie could be "squeezing it dry".
However, Lily James has confirmed that she will not be returning as Lady Rose MacClare. "I'm sadly not, but I'm so excited for it — I'm going to be front row," she said, adding that the reason "wasn't schedules".
"My character Rose moved off to New York, so it would be farfetched to bring her back," she added. "I would have loved to have come back for a scene, but for a movie it can't be like a Christmas special and it needs to be a focused storyline. There was no space for Rose."
In terms of new cast members, Imelda Staunton (who is married to Carson actor Jim Carter in real life) has joined, as well as Sherlock Holmes' Geraldine James, The Thick Of It's David Haig, The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy's Simon Jones, Sense8's Tuppence Middleton, Peaky Blinders' Kate Phillips, and Goodbye Christopher Robin's Stephen Campbell Moore.
There has been no official release date yet. Filming only began in the summer, so we don't expect to see it in 2018.
Chances are it will be released at some point in 2019. We predict a Christmas release to follow from its previous festive editions, but we shall have to wait and see.
Michelle Dockery - who plays Lady Mary - revealed that filming began in September on Instagram:
The final TV episode of Downton Abbey was a largely happy affair, airing on Christmas Day in 2015.
Edith got married to Bertie, Mary revealed that she was pregnant with her second child, Anna gave birth to her first, Henry and Tom went into business together selling cars and Carson resigned as butler due to his illness.
The last time we caught up with them all it was 1925, so maybe we'll see a time jump of a few years?
They have yet to announce what the film will be called.
We wouldn't be surprised if it was simply called Downton Abbey. We just hope it's not Downton Abbey: The Movie.