“Downton Abbey” fans are cordially invited to party like it’s 1929-ish.
The series’ full cast will reunite for a sequel to the 2019 “Downton Abbey” movie, a spinoff of the six-season masterpiece drama by Julian Fellowes which aired in the US between 2011 and 2015. Variety reported that production is already underway, with a release date scheduled for Dec. 22.
While the premise has not yet been revealed, fans have speculated whether the latest installment in the Crawley saga will include another royal visit, as happened in the 2019 film.
Producers have also announced a roster of new additions to the original cast lineup, including Hugh Dancy (NBC’s “Hannibal”), Laura Haddock (“Guardians of the Galaxy”), Dominic West (“The Wire” and “The Affair”) and French actor Nathalie Baye (“Catch Me If You Can”).
Filmmaker Simon Curtis (“My Week With Marilyn”) is set to direct. Fellowes will return to write the screenplay alongside Emmy and BAFTA Award-winning writer Gareth Neame. Carnival Films, of which Neame is executive chairman, is set to co-produce the feature with US distributor Focus Features.
“After a very challenging year with so many of us separated from family and friends, it is a huge comfort to think that better times are ahead and that next Christmas we will be reunited with the much-beloved characters of ‘Downton Abbey’,” said Neame, according to Variety.
Said Focus Features chairman Peter Kujawski in a statement, “There’s no place like home for the holidays, and we can’t imagine a better gift than getting to reunite with Julian, Gareth, and the entire Downton family in 2021 to bring the Crawley’s back home for their fans.”