Just about two months ago, Hugh Bonneville teased the possibility of doing a sequel to the Downton Abbey movie from 2019, saying that it would only happen if “everybody who is offered a vaccine takes a vaccine.” At the time, it seemed like one of those “oh, it’ll be nice to do it someday” kind of statements that everybody has been making during the pandemic (along the lines of “we should travel when we can” or “I haven’t seen my parents in 18 months”), but apparently what he actually meant was “we’re doing it ASAP and no one can stop us.”
That’s because, according to Deadline, a second Downton Abbey movie is not only going to happen, but it’s happening right now and Focus Features is fast-tracking it for release on December 22, 2021—which is just a few months away. Granted, it’s probably not going to be an effects-heavy film that requires a lot of extra work to add in explosions and superhero laser blasts, but we’ve just gone through a whole year or so when very few movies were getting made. It’s surprising to hear about one going from “maybe someday” to “coming soon” so quickly.
The whole principal cast will be returning, including Bonneville, Michelle Dockery, Imelda Staunton, and Maggie Smith, with Hugh Dancy, Laura Haddock, Nathalie Baye, and Dominic West stopping by. Series creator Julian Fellowes will write the script, with My Week With Marilyn’s Simon Curtis directing. Deadline doesn’t say what the plot will be, but something like this only needs the thinnest justification for existing anyway. It could just be about checking in on the Downton gang after a few years away, or maybe it’ll be like the second Sex And The City movie and they’ll go on a trip to Dubai.