'Downton Abbey' Will Return for a Third Movie, the "Final Chapter"

The official Downton Abbey: A New Era poster

The official 'Downton Abbey: A New Era' poster

Focus Features

For months there have been rumors about a return of Downton Abbey. Most of these have been confined to rags like The Sun or The Daily Mail, places that have proven unreliable in the past. Also, these rumors suggested the show was coming back for another season to ITV and PBS, rumors that were easily disproven, if not downright laughable. More recently, those rumors morphed into suggestions a third movie might be in the works, something that was far more plausible, but still sketchy.

However, on Monday, March 18, 2024, notices were posted in multiple weekly production circulars announcing a film was looking to hire crew members for "Downton Abbey 3," to begin filming in July 2024. While some were uncertain if it was a prank, those with inside connections were pretty sure if it was legit. However, without an official confirmation from somewhere, no one was able to run with it.

Thankfully, Imelda Staunton, who joined the cast when the series moved to the big screen as Lady Maud Bagshaw after watching its success from the sidelines (her husband, Jim Carter, plays Mr. Carson), decided to put everyone out of their misery. When asked by BBC Radio 2 breakfast show host Zoe Ball during her Wednesday, March 20 appearance about the film rumors, Staunton said: “There will be the final film – there you go.” Ball was genuinely startled, and joked she hoped Staunton wouldn't get in trouble. Staunton, however, said she didn't care. After all, this was the last one.

Jim Carter as Mr. Carson in the 'Downton Abbey' movie

Jim Carter as Mr. Carson in the 'Downton Abbey' movie

Focus Features

Of course, Carnival Films, Focus Features, and NBCUniversal have not responded for comment and will most likely not confirm the film's return officially until filming begins this summer. That means there's no synopsis or cast list. But do we really need one? After all, it doesn't really matter what happens in the film. Lady Mary will be heroic; Lady Edith will be decent; Lady Isobel and Lady Maud will struggle to fill Lady Violet's shoes with bon mots. Lord Grantham will attempt to do something dumb, and everyone will pat him on the head and fix it.

As for the cast, expect everyone to return except Maggie Smith since Lady Violet passed away at the end of the second film. Actually, scratch that; they'll probably add a flashback in order to find her a way in. "Everyone else" would include Hugh Bonneville, Elizabeth McGovern, Michelle Dockery, Laura Carmichael, Allen Leech, Penelope Wilton, Harry Hadden-Paton, Imelda Staunton, Tuppence Middleton, and Douglas Reith returning upstairs. Downstairs will feature Jim Carter, Raquel Cassidy, Brendan Coyle, Kevin Doyle, Joanne Froggatt, Michael Fox, Robert James-Collier, Phyllis Logan, Sophie McShera, and Lesley Nicols

Downton Abbey 3: The Final Chapter (or whatever its title is) is expected to be filmed in the summer of 2024 and will probably be released in 2025.


Ani Bundel has been blogging professionally since 2010. A DC native, Hufflepuff, and Keyboard Khaleesi, she spends all her non-writing time taking pictures of her cats. Regular bylines also found on MSNBC, Paste, Primetimer, and others. 

A Woman's Place Is In Your Face. Cat Approved. Find her on BlueSky and other social media of your choice: @anibundel.bsky.social

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