On the heels of the news that principal photography is starting on the Downton Abbey movie, Focus Features has announced that the highly-anticipated return to Julian Fellowes‘ Edwardian world will debut Friday, September 20th 2019 in North America, with Universal Pictures International releasing it Friday, September 13th 2019 internationally. (We get the delay? Again? Seriously?)
Though there are no details about when the story will take place, or what it may be about, we do know that the original cast will be back alongside new additions Imelda Staunton (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix), Geraldine James (Anne with an E), Simon Jones(The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy), David Haig (Killing Eve), Tuppence Middleton (The Imitation Game), Kate Philips (The Crown), and Stephen Campbell Moore (History Boys), among others.
Creator Fellowes has penned the screenplay for the film, and will produce alongside Gareth Neame and Liz Trubridge. And while Brian Percival was first named as the director, that duty will now go to Michael Engler, who directed several Downton episodes over the years, including the series finale. Though the writing on Downton was not always up to snuff, the directing and immersive settings were always a dream, particularly in that satisfying finale (you can reminisce about more of the show’s greatest moments with our list, as well as a reminder of what happened in 2015’s finale here).
The series ran for six seasons in the U.S. on PBS, winning 15 Primetime Emmys and becoming a juggernaut for the public broadcaster. While it feels like a lot longer than three years since its conclusion, that’s become an eternity in media terms. It also makes it all the more curious where the show will pick up when we return to it, and if it will just feel like a reunion or a vibrant new tale.
Here’s the official synopsis (so far) for the movie:
The television series Downton Abbey followed the lives of the Crawley family and the servants who worked for them at the turn of the 20th century in an Edwardian English country house. The Downton Abbey movie will star the original principal cast, including Hugh Bonneville, Laura Carmichael, Jim Carter, Brendan Coyle, Michelle Dockery, Kevin Doyle, Joanne Froggatt, Matthew Goode, Harry Hadden-Paton, Robert James-Collier, Allen Leech, Phyllis Logan, Elizabeth McGovern, Sophie McShera, Lesley Nicol, Penelope Wilton, and Academy-Award® winner Maggie Smith, as well as new cast members Academy-Award® nominee Imelda Staunton, Geraldine James, Simon Jones, David Haig, Tuppence Middleton, Kate Phillips and Stephen Campbell Moore.