A Downton Abbey film has long been in the works and now producers have finally set a release date for fall 2019.
According to Country Living, the film will debut on Sept. 20, 2019. Focus Features chairman Peter Kujawski revealed the news in a recent statement.
“Since the series ended, fans of Downton have long been waiting for the Crawley family’s next chapter,” Kujawski explained. “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 next September.”
A press release regarding the film reportedly added that "the original principal cast from the acclaimed television series have assembled to return for the feature which will begin production later this summer."
Included in the main cast for the show was legendary actress Maggie Smith, who previously spoke to the British Film Institute and said quite candidly asserted that she felt like a Downton Abbey movie was "squeezing it dry."
"...Do you know what I mean? I don't know what it could possibly be," she added. "It was so meandering, what would you [do]? Anyway that's not my problem. That's the Lord's problem."
The "Lord" she is referring to is likely Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellows.
"What happens in the end with any serial drama is there’s a limited number of things that happen to human beings. You do start to understand why, in Dynasty, Fallon ended up going up in a rocket ship with aliens," he explained. "There are moments when you’re just thinking, 'What can I make happen to them now?' And I think, if you stay too long, you start to repeat.
"Basically: are we happily married? Do we like our job? Are the children doing well? Are our parents OK? I mean, this is all our lives. When you’ve explored all of those for all the characters, then I think it’s time to say goodbye," Fellows added. "And I like that it ended happily.0comments
"I feel that if an audience has been loyal to you for six years, they deserve to go away from the last episode feeling good. And Edith, especially, deserved a happy ending. I had teased people, with the end of the series before the Christmas special — with once again, it had all gone wrong," he finally said. "But it came right in the end, and I wanted her to outrank Mary."
Production on the Downton Abbey film is underway but there is no word on when it is expected to wrap.