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Turns Out Downton Abbey 3 Might Actually Happen, And I'm Wondering What This Could Mean For That Other Huge Reunion Rumor

 The full cast in Downton Abbey: A New Era 2022.
The full cast in Downton Abbey: A New Era 2022.

Every time Downton Abbey seems to have closed its doors to the world, hope springs eternal for another round. The rumor mill has kept this series in everyone’s minds, even without a cinematic entry to speak of on the 2024 movie schedule. However, it appears those cast-submitted ideas for Downton Abbey 3 may come in handy after all, as it seems that a third film might actually happening!

If true, this is an assuredly exciting rumor, as there's never a bad time to return to Downton Abbey. That being said, it does cause me a bit of concern, as there’s another huge rumor that’s been floating around suggesting a Downton revival of an entirely different scope.

Imelda Staunton sits in discussion in a drawing room in Downton Abbey: The Motion Picture.
Imelda Staunton sits in discussion in a drawing room in Downton Abbey: The Motion Picture.

How Imelda Staunton Broke The Downton Abbey 3 Rumor

While she may have played the ultimate authoritarian figure in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, actor Imelda Staunton clearly did not care about the rules when appearing on the BBC’s The Zoe Ball Breakfast Show. She literally said she didn’t care if she got into trouble for supposedly dropping hints about the potential future of the Downton saga.

Here’s what Staunton shared when asked by Ms. Ball if there was more to come:

Yes there is. … There will be the final film.

Listening to Staunton hype up this potential third and final movie, which would act as the hypothetical sequel to 2022’s Downton Abbey: A New Era, you can tell she’s excited to be giving the fans what they want. The way she enunciated the fact that this would be the “final film” in creator Julian Fellowes’ iconic drama series was proof alone.

However, perhaps the reason Imelda Staunton isn’t afraid of spilling these beans is because there’s yet another massive rumor circulating in the world. While it’s also good news for Downton Abbey fans, there’s a huge difference in scope between Downton Abbey 3 and what this other report seems to suggest.

The cast of Downton Abbey: A New Era scattered around a beautifully decorated room.
The cast of Downton Abbey: A New Era scattered around a beautifully decorated room.

Let’s Talk About That Other Massive Downton Abbey Rumor

In February 2024, there was a report from the Daily Mail that suggested yes, the Downton cast was assembled and secretly filming the next chapter. However, that rumor didn’t indicate a third film, but rather a seventh season of TV to be aired on ITV in the future.

With insiders claiming enthusiasm running high, and NDAs being issued and signed, it appears that the game might be on after all. Thankfully, there aren’t any potential plot spoilers leaking out, like that time Downton Abbey 2’s set reports may have spoiled a huge third act death before its time.

No matter which Downton Abbey rumor seems to win the day, it seems like there’s something afoot at the legendary Highclere Castle. Lady Fiona Carnarvon herself seems to have stoked those fires herself thanks to this TikTok that she’d posted around the timeframe of that Daily Mail report mentioned above:

Mysteries abound in the world of Downton, and who knows if Imelda Staunton or the Daily Mail has the right information. Perhaps this is all part of a misinformation scheme to keep fans on their toes? Time will tell, as it's usually not too long after such rumors break that the truth eventually surfaces.

While we wait out this current storm of rumors for more information, it sounds like it's time to revisit Downton Abbey in whatever manner you choose. With the original series run currently streaming through a Peacock subscription, you can get back to the world of the televised incarnation. Meanwhile, the first Downton movie is streaming on Netflix, and Downton Abbey: A New Era is streaming through Starz, at the time of this publication.