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(Pocket-lint) - Can you believe it's been five years since Downton Abbey ended?

Luckily, in 2019, fans of the period drama series were given the chance to see the Crawley family and their many maids and footmen once more with a full-length feature film. But, apparently, that was not the grand finale to the Downton Abbey Universe. In 2021, Focus Features announced that a sequel movie - called Downton Abbey: A New Era - is in the works and will star many of the same characters from the original series and first movie. 

Downton Abbey 2: Release date

  • Release date: 18 March 2022

In April 2021, Focus Features confirmed a Downton Abbey sequel movie would be in cinemas this Christmas. "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,” Gareth Neame, the film’s producer said in a statement. But, in July 2021, the premiere date was pushed to 18 March 2022.

Downton Abbey 2: Trailers

To date, only one teaser trailer has been released for Downton Abbey: A New Era.

Watch it below:

Downton Abbey 2: Photos

You can see the first photos from the new film via the gallery below:

Downton Abbey 2: Cast

Downton Abbey: A New Era is written by creator Julian Fellowes and directed by Simon Curtis.

The sequel brings back most of the principal cast members from the series and the first movie. (Per Focus Features, "The original principal cast will all once again return for the second film.) There will be new characters as well, with Hugh Dancy, Laura Haddock, Nathalie Baye, and Dominic West all joining the cast.

  • Hugh Bonneville - Robert Crawley, the Earl of Grantham
  • Elizabeth McGovern - Cora Crawley, the Countess of Grantham
  • Michelle Dockery - Lady Mary Talbot, the oldest Crawley daughter
  • Laura Carmichael - Edith Pelham, the Marchioness of Hexham and middle Crawley daughter
  • Maggie Smith - Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham
  • Allen Leech - Tom Branson, the widowed husband of youngest Crawley daughter Sybil
  • Jim Carter - Charles Carson, the retired butler
  • Phyllis Logan - Elsie Carson, the housekeeper formerly known as Mrs Hughes
  • Robert James-Collier - Thomas Barrow, the current butler
  • Joanne Froggatt - Anna Bates, Lady Mary's maid
  • Lesley Nicol - Beryl Patmore, head cook
  • Sophie McShera - Daisy Mason, assistant cook
  • Penelope Wilton - Isobel Grey, Baroness Merton and Mary's former mother-in-law
  • Samantha Bond - Lady Rosamund Painswick, Robert's sister
  • Harry Hadden-Paton - Bertie Pelham, Marquess of Hexham and Edith's husband
  • Matthew Goode - Henry Talbot, Mary's husband
  • Douglas Reith - Dickie Grey, Baron Merton and Isobel's husband
  • Kevin Doyle - Joseph Molesley, former footman and teacher
  • Michael Fox - Andy Parker, footman
  • Imelda Staunton - Lady Maud Bagshaw, Robert's cousin
  • Tuppence Middleton - Lucy Smith, Tom's fiancee and Lady Bagshaw's heir
  • Laura Haddock - Myrna Dalgleish
Focus FeaturesDownton Abbey A New Era: Release date, trailer, cast, and rumours photo 3

Downton Abbey 2: Plot rumours

The first trailer for Downtown Abbey: A New Era teases a wedding for the character of Tom Branson, and the story of an affair from the Dowager Countess. Little else is known about the sequel's plot, but thanks to the teaser trailer, and some educated guesses, we can make assumptions about potential plotlines.

What year is it?

The first Downton Abbey film is set in 1927 and focused on a visit by King George V and Queen Mary to Downton Abbey. The sequel movie seems to immediately follow, so it could be set around 1928 or 1929. The teaser trailer shows Tom Branson marrying Lucy, whom he met in the first film.

Is the Dowager still alive?

In the first movie, Violet, the Dowager Countess of Grantham, tells her grandaughter Mary that she is dying. Fortunately, she's seen in the teaser trailer.

We see her tell the Crawley family that she met a man before her children were born and, as a result, she now owns a villa in the south of France. Some of the Crawleys - including Lord and Lady Grantham, Lady Edith and her husband, and Tom Branson and his new wife Lucy - all appear to visit the villa.

Are Mary and Henry still together?

The teaser trailer for Downton Abbey: A New Era doesn't show Henry Talbot, Mary's husband and Tom's partner. He's played by Matthew Goode. In the teaser, the family lines up for wedding photos, but Henry is missing in action. Henry only briefly appeared in the first movie, to explain he is needed on a business trip.

For those unaware: Goode stars in A Discovery of Witches, so perhaps he only has time for a cameo in A New Era. For now, it's unknown if he will appear, and it's also unclear if Mary and Henry are still married. There's no reason to suspect otherwise, but what is a story without a little drama and conflict?

Downton Abbey 2: How to watch

Streaming details haven't been announced yet for the UK and the US. When Focus Features shares more information, Pocket-lint will update this guide.

Writing by Maggie Tillman. Originally published on 16 November 2021.
Sections TV