Say this for the scenic Yorkshire country estate of Downton Abbey: It’s got a whole lotta story left to tell, even after six sumptuous seasons right out of a Merchant & Ivory playbook and a surprise smash theatrical film. From day one, fans have taken passionately to the fictional exploits of the aristocratic Crawley family and their various domestic servants in a way not seen since the halcyon days of the Carrington and Colby families in Dynasty. And now – guess what? – it has been officially confirmed by our tea and crumpet aficionados over at The Hollywood Reporter that Downton Abbey II has been commissioned for a Christmas 2021 theatrical release. Hold on tight to those chimney flues and opera glasses Constant Readers, it’s going to be a fun ride!
“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,” said Carnival Films Big Wheel Gareth Neame in a press release today. Neame and Liz Trubridge will be producing the sequel for Carnival Films alongside Focus Features. All of the above parties were involved in the production of the first Downton film.
Production on Downton Abbey II got underway last week with creator Julian Fellowes and the original cast (that would be Hugh Bonneville, Laura Carmichael, Jim Carter, Michelle Dockery and Maggie Smith) re-upping for this new story. New addition in the form of actor Dominic West was also announced as joining the film.
Other new faces will be popping in to infiltrate the world of the Crawleys, including actors Hugh Dancy, Laura Haddock and Nathalie Baye. Director Simon Curtis of My Week with Marilyn fame will be helming this new installment.
Giving his seal of approval for Downton Abbey II was no less of a heavyweight than Focus Features chairman Peter Kujawski who said in a statement that “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.”
So break out mom and pop’s best porcelain dinnerware True Believers! Despite what the naysayers may think, 2021 is going to be a brilliant year…Yay, optimism!
Downton Abbey II will officially land in theaters on December 22, 2021.