The Downton Abbey film’s highly anticipated release is due on the 13th of September, 2019. The international award winning smash hit series’ full cast and crew will be back, this time on the big screen. Until then, avid Downton devotees will be counting down the days. The film will apparently be set in 1927, ahead of the times the series had left off.
The iconic Lady Mary, played by Michelle Dockery, shared her thoughts with Los Angeles Times, saying “I think by the end of the series [the film] was inevitable. We’d been talking about it for a long time and it was only a matter of time before they rallied the troops and got everyone in the same country and got people to commit to it. We knew it wasn’t quite over. And when we went back it felt like we’d never left.”
Producer Gareth Neame shared “We were committed to developing a movie by the time we wrapped on the last season. The complicated thing was really getting everyone in line at the same time. You can imagine the challenge of a show with 18 or 20 main characters. It was a difficult position to be in as a producer because you couldn’t recast anyone.”
The feature film will have a two-hour run time, primarily set in Hampshire’s familiar Highclere Castle. New characters will include Imelda Staunton as Lady Maud Bagshaw and Tuppence Middleton as Lucy Smith. Under the direction of acclaimed cinematographer Ben Smithard, the film will show Downton Abbey in a more dynamic and expansive light as the neighbouring villages of Bampton and Laycock will be shown. The film’s budget was also considerably higher, so expect fancier film including drone shots and even more grandeur, royal spectacles and lavish theatricals.
Director Michael Engler tells the LA Times “When you’re sitting in a theater you have such a different sense of immersion in the event. You want to take advantage of that as much as you can. When you see the scale of it you want to feel like it earns that. It needed to be on a bigger screen with better sound because the story is bigger and grander.” He went onto say “The series was trying to be down on the ground with the people who lived there and part of our goal with the film really was to show the bird’s-eye view and how that property sits in that landscape in such a grand way, to show its magical, larger-than-life quality and its timeless elegance.”
Speaking on the affinity she has towards her role and the show-turned-film, Michelle Dockery admits “I will never be done with it, it has been part of my life and it will always be part of my life, forever. It changed my life. And we’ll see after this film. We’ll see how it’s received … we’ll deal with that as the time comes.”
The show’s creator and screenwriter Julian Fellowes did not initially intend on the movie as the Season 6 finale had a solid and fairly happy ending. The film will also end on a conclusive note, but this time round Fellowes is open to the possibility of a sequel, sharing “In show biz, as in practically everything else, one must never say never. Obviously if there was a real demand for another film … then I’m sure we’d all try to see if we could make it work. I don’t feel I did anything deliberately that would prevent another film. Maybe there was some part of my brain thinking I better not shut this door too tightly.”
Watch the trailer :