Is the ‘Downton Abbey’ Movie a Go?

Cast members drop hints that a film is forthcoming, sans a key character

It’s not exactly an official confirmation, but the evidence — or at least the gossip — that a Downton Abbey movie is in the works keeps mounting. Yahoo News reported today that at an Emmy event, “cast members indicated creator Julian Fellowes really is scripting a movie. Or so they hear.”

OK, it was pretty sketchy. “Sharing secrets just like the Downton staff, Leslie Nicol (Mrs. Patmore) and Allen Leech (Tom Branson) both indicated that the Abbey faithful have reason for optimism,” wrote  Yahoo’s Diane Haithman. “’The last I heard,’” said Leech, “’there were possible negotiations with Julian.’”

A few weeks ago, E Online ran a similar report with the headline “Downton Abbey Movie ‘Should Definitely’ Happen, Says Star Tom Cullen.” OK, just because one of Lady Mary’s suitors thinks a movie should happen doesn’t make it so.

Then there was the March 13 report in Metro of Brendan Coyle, aka Mr. Bates, saying he “confirms his appearance in movie spin-off.” That story went on to say that the beloved Maggie Smith would not be returning. The news about the rest of the cast was more positive: “A source said: ‘There is a timeline in place — even though everyone is staying quiet about it for now. The film should be ready in time for Christmas 2018. The script outlines are broadly in place. All the stars of the show have verbally committed to the film, which will be shot in the UK.'”

Which probably means we’ve got several more months’ worth of speculation before the truth comes out.

By Heidi Raschke
Heidi Raschke is a longtime journalist and editor who previously was the Executive Editor of Mpls-St. Paul Magazine and Living and Learning Editor at Next Avenue. Currently, she runs her own content strategy and development consultancy.@heidiraschke

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