Once again, it is time to return to Downton Abbey, the storied house in Yorkshire that belongs to the Crawley family, the seat of the Grantham Estate. Fans have known Downton Abbey 2 was almost certainly in the works since the first one blew away projections and became a box office smash in 2019. The new film, entitled Downton Abbey: A New Era, was initially announced in the spring of 2021 and headed directly into filming as soon as Lockdown 3 lifted. The initial intention was for a Christmas-timed release, but unfortunately, that deadline proved a bit too soon, and the film is now due out in March 2022.
But that doesn't mean the movie isn't going to bring some holiday-timed surprises. Production studio Focus Features is treating this as an out-and-out blockbuster. We've got a teaser to the trailer promising a big-screen debut for the first look at the movie in theaters. It will run in front of Focus Features' leading Oscar contender, Belfast, which industry watchers expect to attract a large audience to the indie film circuit. Notably, the first film also got a plum spot of the trailer drop, in front of Focus Features' 2018 Awards hopeful Mary, Queen of Scots, though the studio did not advertise its arrival ahead of time.
The teaser to the trailer, as is traditional, tells us absolutely nothing about the plot of the film but does confirm rumors that there will be a wedding involved in this installment, as Tom Branson gets remarried to Lucy Smith. She was introduced as a potential love interest in the first film, despite her secretly being related to the Granthams as Cousin Maud's illegitimate daughter. It's good to know that Tom is taking the upper-class tradition of keeping it just this side of uncomfortably in the family alive.
The film also dropped a few first-look photos along with the teaser.
Unfortunately, that's all fans have for now, as the synopsis is utterly worthless. It reads:
The original principal cast of Downton Abbey will all once again return for the second film.
(I know, right?!)
Speaking of the cast, the film stars all the usual suspects. That includes Hugh Bonneville, Laura Carmichael, Michelle Dockery, Matthew Goode, Harry Hadden-Paton, Allen Leech, Elizabeth McGovern, Maggie Smith, and Penelope Wilton returning as the upstairs cast. Jim Carter, Brendan Coyle, Kevin Doyle, Joanne Froggatt, Robert James-Collier, Phyllis Logan, Sophie McShera, and Lesley Nicols are back as the downstairs cast. (No, you're not dreaming, Raquel Cassidy, who plays Cora's Lady's Maid, Baxter, is not listed. Consider Lady Mary's eyebrows raised.)
Fans will note the cast list also includes quite a few returnees from the first film, including most of the royal family and their servants, with David Haig, Simon Jones, Geraldine James, Tuppence Middleton, Stephen Campbell Moore, Kate Phillips, and Imelda Staunton back for a second round. This installment will also introduce guest stars Hugh Dancy, Laura Haddock, Nathalie Baye, and Dominic West.
Downton Abbey: A New Era arrives exclusively in theaters on Friday, March 18, 2022.