The possibility of a Downton Abbey movie shows there’s life after television if a show is popular enough.
Get your finest dinner coat ready, Downton Abbey fans. You might have reason to celebrate.
A new, unconfirmed report indicates that the Crawley family might return to the screen in a big way.
Following six celebrated seasons on ITV and PBS, Downton Abbey will reportedly receive a big-screen feature that brings back the cast of the award-winning British drama for one last story.
According to The Sun, series writer and creator Julian Fellowes will reteam with show producer Carnival Films to make the film, with cameras expected to begin rolling in September. However, there’s been no official confirmation of the film at this point, so the report should be taken as a rumor — albeit one that will certainly cause some excitement for fans of the series more than a year after the final episode aired.
The outlet reports that “film bosses have requested the services of crew members and accountants to work on the picture,” according to an anonymous source. The source adds, “A budget has been set and now it’s a case of getting everything in place to start shooting.”
“It would take something big to stop the project from happening now,” according to the outlet’s unidentified source.
While that’s all well and good for Downton fans, the cast of the series has been more than skeptical about the prospects of a movie based on the show. Maggie Smith, who was nominated for five Primetime Emmy Awards and won three for her role as the Dowager Countess of Grantham in the series, recently said it would be “squeezing it dry” to make a Downton Abbey movie and expressed some uncertainty about returning to the role.
However, Fellowes seemed more than up to the task of bringing the Crawley family to theaters.
“There is an audience for a film,” he told Indie Wire in May 2016. “I’d structure a narrative with lots of things happening, but we would need a kind of unity to make a feature, which is a challenge for me. It would be a bigger canvas: A riot could be a real riot, the ball a real ball. I would like that, I think it would be fun.”
Over the course of its six-season run, Downton Abbey earned 12 Primetime Emmy Awards and the most nominations of any non-U.S. series. By its third season, it was widely regarded as the most-watched international series on television. The final episode aired December 25, 2015.