Is the Downton Abbey movie moving forward? What we know so far...

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Downton... is the film finally on the way? - Credit: ITV
Downton… is the film finally on the way? – Credit: ITV

It sounds like that ‘Downton Abbey’ movie that fans are craving could be on the way, with Jim Carter – aka Mr Carson – seeming to confirm rumours that an announcement could be imminent.

Appearing on ‘Good Morning Britain‘ earlier this month, he told Susanna Reid: “We’ve been asked to keep ourselves available for dates in the future, but nobody has seen a script.”

And he’s just the latest to make such encouraging noises.

Joanna Froggatt – aka Anna Smith – reckons it’s already been written, telling ‘This Morning’ last October: “We’ve all heard this rumour – the cast – that the script has been written.

“There’s a hard copy somewhere but none of us have seen it or know what’s in it. So we’ll all keep our fingers crossed that it all comes together. We’re all willing it to happen. I’d absolutely jump at the chance to star in it if I’m asked.”

Carson... Jim Carter is keeping dates free - Credit: ITV
Carson… Jim Carter is keeping dates free – Credit: ITV

So it certainly sounds like writer Julian Fellowes has been gradually moving things forward, but what else do we know about the plans so far?

The Daily Mail reported last September that Dame Maggie Smith is signed up for a movie of the hit ITV series, despite a previous denial on ‘The Graham Norton Show’.

“By the time we finished, she must have been about 110. It couldn’t go on and on, it just didn’t make sense,” she said.

As for Fellowes, he began lukewarm on the idea, before seeming to warm to it, saying prior to the series’ final season in 2015: “I’m open to the idea of a movie but I’m not anxious to do it.

“In my experience, and naming no names, the movie of the series is often a disappointment. Normally they’re not very good because the film producer says, ‘Oh, it’s not going to be anything like the series,’ and of course what you want is for it to be exactly like the series. I hope we would avoid that error in doing one, but I do have mixed feelings about it.

Fellowes... is well up for it - Credit: Reuters
Fellowes… is well up for it – Credit: Reuters

Then in November 2015, he told the Mail on Sunday: “I think I have got a few ideas. I think it’s very possible and it would be fun for us to do. I certainly have no objections because the film would be another adventure.

“My own feeling would be that a film now would need to include the characters from the series as they were in the series.”

And on the News At 10, back in March last year, he was even more effusice, saying: “I’d like a Downton film. I mean, I won’t be mysterious. If they decide to do it, I’ll certainly do it. I think it would be great.”

Meanwhile, producer Gareth Neame has floated the idea of a movie being set in the 50s or 60s.

(Credit: Vulture)
(Credit: Vulture)

He told the Radio Times: “I’m interested in the fact that George, Marigold and Sybbie could just about still be alive today if you think about it, which is a really good way to show how we’re connected to this era. It’s just about within living memory.

“I am interested to know what happens when George is running the estate, in the… whenever it is, 1950s, Sixties or something.”

Bookmakers Ladbrokes, however, seem pretty certain about the eventuality of a ‘Downton’ movie, giving the likelihood odds of 1/2 of a film arriving before 2020.

“The good news for grieving Downton fans is that it only looks like being a matter of time before the film is released,” said a spokesperson.

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