It’s official: The entire Crawley family is getting back together again. After years of speculation, it’s been confirmed that the cast of Downton Abbey are reuniting for a feature film. The Edwardian-era series followed the lives of the elite Crawley family and their servants at the fictional Downton Abbey estate and through a number of major early 20th century world events, including the sinking of the Titanic and World War I.
Shortly after the acclaimed series ended its six-season run in late 2015, creator Julian Fellowes revealed he was working on an idea for a potential film. Additionally, over the years, a number of cast members from the ensemble drama have expressed interest in reprising their roles in a Downton project, with the majority set to return for the film, including Hugh Bonneville, Michelle Dockery, Laura Carmichael, and Elizabeth McGovern.
Another major cast member also returning is Dame Maggie Smith, who played the scene-stealing Dowager Countess. Despite her insistence throughout the series’ original run that the Dowager Countess should be killed off, it appears Violet Crawley will live on to deliver another series of snide one-liners directed at her son and reluctant BFF Isobel Crawley (Penelope Wilton).
As only Downton Abbey could, the series official Twitter account delivered the news on a silver platter:
Fellowes has reportedly already written the script and will produce the film, while Brian Percival, who directed the pilot, is returning to direct the movie. Variety reported that filming will start shooting later this summer, but no release date has been set yet. As the announcement made rounds this morning, a number of the cast members celebrated the announcement, reposting Downton Abbey‘s confirmation and posting behind-the-scenes photos from the original series run.
However, while it seems most of the series cast is getting back together, it seems very unlikely that original cast members Dan Stevens or Jessica Brown Findlay will be returning to reprise their roles as the late Matthew Crawley and Lady Sybil. But as the plot is being kept tightly under wraps, anything is possible.