Prepare yourselves, everybody. It looks like the Downton Abbey movie is actually happening.
If the British tabloid press is to be believed, at any rate.
Yes, according to reports, the mega-hit costume drama will officially return in feature film form. The show, which ran on PBS in the U.S. from 2011-2016, followed the story of the aristocratic Crawley family and their servants at a beautiful English estate. Romances, marriages, births, deaths, and betrayals abounded, and the show was the highest-rated in Masterpiece history.
Filming on the movie version of Downton will begin this September, according to a report . “Film bosses have requested the services of crew members and accountants to work on the picture,” an unnamed source is quoted as saying in British newspaper The Sun, who broke the story.
News of the Downton movie comes well over a year after the show wrapped up its run on-air here in the States. And, for the most part, the characters were left leading pretty settled lives. Mary, Edith and Rose were all married off, Carson retired and Thomas returned to Downton to become its butler. Robert even got a new dog. Everything seems pretty good for everyone. So what kind of story is this movie going to tell?
We don’t have any script details, so it’s impossible to even guess.
Other things we don’t know: Which cast members might be taking part. Dame Maggie Smith hasn’t seemed incredibly keen on the idea according to recent reports. To put it rather mildly. But Jim Carter and most of the other cast members have reportedly already signed on, according to a previous batch of gossip that made the rounds last Fall.
It also seems worth saying that absolutely no one official has commented on these rumors. And no official announcement of any kind has been made by producers, creators or anyone involved. The original source for all this is that one report in The Sun, which is not exactly always the most reliable source. And it has yet to be corroborated separtely by any other outlet. But, to be fair, rumors about a Downton movie in development have been going on since the show ended, pretty much. And if you listen to creator Julian Fellowes and the other folks involved – it sort of does sound like just a matter of time.
Is a Downton Abbey movie a good idea? That's a whole 'nother question. Sure we all love and miss the Crawley clan. But do we really need to see a movie version of them? After all, Downton the series, for the most part, had a happy ending. Everyone pretty much got a happy ending. (Save only Molesley, who didn't get the girl in the end - a fact about which I will be annoyed forever.) In order to create some narrative conflict for any potential movie or movies, doesn't someone's happy ending have to be distrupted? And while it would be lovely to know how the Bateses are getting on as parents, or what Carson and Mrs. Hughes are doing in retirement, I don't particularly want to watch anyone break-up, or get sick, or die to find that out. Ugh, I dont' know. It's a tough spot to be in. (And there's something I never thought I'd say about this!)
More details on any of this as they're revealed. Stay tuned.
But in the meantime - would you watch a Downton feature film? Is Downton Abbey: The Movie something you're dying to see? Why or why not? Let's discuss.