'Downton Abbey' movie sequel to start shooting next year

Jim Carter as Carson in the 2019 'Downton Abbey' movie. (Credit: Universal)
Jim Carter as Carson in the 2019 'Downton Abbey' movie. (Credit: Universal)

A second Downton Abbey is due to begin shooting in 2021, according to actor Jim Carter.

The 72-year-old star has been a part of the ITV period drama, playing butler Carson, since it began in 2010.

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He reprised the role for the characters’ big screen outing last year, which earned $194m (£152m) worldwide and was the 10th highest-grossing film of 2019 in the UK.

Carter revealed on This Morning on Thursday that the rumoured sequel is indeed going ahead — and sooner rather than later.

“If you promise not to tell anyone, I’ll let you know that we’ve seen a script,” he said.

'Downton Abbey'. (Credit: Universal)
The cast of Downton Abbey (Universal)

Carter added: “The script for a second film is there. We’ve seen it, it’s very funny.

“It’s got all the same characters in, all the regular characters, and I think the will is, COVID willing, we’ll film it next year.”

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Set in 1927 and penned by show creator Julian Fellowes, the first movie spun a series of storylines around a royal visit by King George V to Downton and the Crawley family.

The show had previously been a blockbuster success for ITV, scoring an average of 10 million viewers per episode across its decade on screens.

Julian Fellowes attending the Belgravia photocall held at the Soho Hotel in London. (Photo by Ian West/PA Images via Getty Images)
Julian Fellowes (PA Images via Getty Images)

Carter said that, 10 years ago, Downton Abbey was not considered to be a sure-fire hit and that all involved were “pleasantly surprised” by the success the show found.

He added: “It’s about love and people looking for love and it’s about decent people. Everybody in it is trying to be the best they can be really and it’s uncynical.

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“It’s like getting into a warm bath, thinking ‘oh I’m going to enjoy this and relax a little bit’. So people really enjoy that, I think, and now we need that more than ever.”

This Morning airs weekdays from 10am on ITV.