After several months of speculation and back and forth, it would appear that Focus Features has officially greenlit a Downton Abbey movie with Carnival Films. Originally, the idea was reported to be a prequel of sorts, showing the English manor house in its earlier, "grander" days before the sinking of the Titanic brought the countryside into the 'modern' era.
Deadline says that Dame Maggie Smith, Hugh Bonneville, Michelle Dockery, and others are set to return as their Crawley family characters, pointing to the possible timeline of the film. (Obviously it wouldn't be a prequel then.)
Downton Abbey pilot director Brian Percival is set to direct the film, series creator Julian Fellowes penned the screenplay and he'll be producing the picture along with Gareth Neame and Liz Trubridge.
Focus Features Chairman Peter Kujawski said:
"Since the series ended, fans of Downton have long been waiting for the Crawley family's next chapter. We're thrilled to join this incredible group of filmmakers, actors and craftspeople, led by Julian Fellowes and Gareth Neame, in bringing back the world of Downton to the big screen."
Carnival's Executive Chairman and film producer Gareth Neame said:
"When the television series drew to a close it was our dream to bring the millions of global fans a movie and now, after getting many stars aligned, we are shortly to go into production. Julian's script charms, thrills and entertains and in Brian Percival's hands we aim to deliver everything that one would hope for as Downton comes to the big screen."
We'll let you know when any further information firms up about the film. Until then, time to binge watch the series on Amazon again!