Watch: The cast of Downton Abbey: A New Era discuss possible sequel
The doors have only just opened for the second Downton film — Downton Abbey: A New Era — but everybody’s already asking the same question. Will there be a third?
And when members of the cast spoke to Yahoo before the sequel’s arrival, it was clear that they’d all be keen to do a threequel. Whether it will happen has yet to be confirmed, but actor Robert James Collier, who plays Barrow, Downton’s butler, broke ranks with his own ideas on possible future films.
Talking about his character, he described how the closeted Barrow is “gradually becoming more comfortable with who he is, and hopefully he can find happiness.”
He then added: “And, hopefully if he does find it, he comes back again in the third movie and establishes his happiness there and lets everybody in the Abbey know how happy he is. And so in to the fourth. And the fifth!”
He also sounded determined about a threequel, regardless of how audiences react to this latest film. “I’d definitely be up for it! Even if nobody watched this one, we’d say ‘sod you lot, we’re making a third one anyway!’”
His imagination even extended to Yahoo having a front row seat at the very first screening. “Do you know why? Because I’m one of the few people who have a Yahoo email account. I’ve got solidarity with you!”
Watch a trailer for Downton Abbey: A New Era
Other members of the cast didn’t speculate quite so much, with Penelope Wilton, who plays Isobel Merton, summing up their thoughts by saying “It depends on how this one goes. We can’t count our chickens. But it’s up to Julian [Fellowes] really.”
Elizabeth McGovern, better known to fans as Cora Crawley, was particularly enthusiastic about the idea. “I feel so proud that we’ve done the almost impossible, which is to make a sequel that I think even surpasses the first one in its entertainment and enjoyment and humour and pathos.
"But it’s hard to imagine keeping that level up. For me, I would hope that we’d be able to do something that is as good as what we’ve done before, instead of just doing it again for the sake of it.”
And Hugh Bonneville, who plays her on-screen husband, the Earl of Grantham, was positive about the success of the new film. “This is like Godfather 2,” he said. “Or Paddington 2!” he said. He’s one of the stars of the sequel about the little bear from darkest Peru.
Michelle Dockery’s view about a threequel was what fans would expect from the practical Lady Mary. “I need a new roof, so..!”
Downton Abbey first arrived on TV screens in 2010. Created and written by Julian Fellowes, the drama’s upstairs/downstairs format echoed his Oscar-winning screenplay for Robert Altman’s Gosford Park (2001) and was an overnight hit with audiences and critics alike. Running for a total of six seasons, it won numerous awards, as well as launching the careers of Dan Stevens, Lily James and Jessica Brown-Findlay.
Its first big screen outing arrived in cinemas in 2019. Downton Abbey boasted the same familiar cast and characters in a storyline that saw the family pay host to a visit from King George V and Queen Mary.
In the new film, Hollywood comes to Downton when it’s chosen as the location for a silent movie, while The Dowager Countess (Maggie Smith) is gifted a villa in the South of France and some of the family cross the Channel to uncover the reason why.
Downton Abbey: A New Era is in UK cinemas now.