'Downton Abbey' Sequel Officially Announced

Downton Abbey is coming back just in time for the holiday season. After the success of the beloved TV show's 2019 film adaptation, Focus Features announced Monday that a sequel will be hitting the theaters on December 22. Downton Abbey 2 will begin production this month, and will feature the film's original cast, which starred Hugh Bonneville, Jim Carter, Michelle Dockery, Elizabeth McGovern, Maggie Smith, Imelda Staunton and Penelope Wilton.

Joining the sequel will be actors Hugh Dancy, Laura Haddock, Nathalie Baye and Dominic West. Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellows will write the film's screenplay and produce alongside Gareth Neame and Liz Trubridge, and Simon Curtis will return to direct the sequel. Gareth Neame, the film’s producer and executive chairman of Carnival Films said in a news release, "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 re-united with the much beloved characters of Downton Abbey."

"There’s no place like home for the holidays, and we can’t imagine a better gift than getting to reunite with Julian, Gareth, and the entire Downton family in 2021 to bring the Crawley’s back home for their fans," added Focus Features chairman Peter Kujawski. The original Downton Abbey success came from the hit PBS series, which came to an end in 2015 before the 2019 film reunited the majority of the cast for another adventure.

The first film picked up in 1927, just shortly after the original show signed off, and followed the chaos that ensued in the wealthy Crawley family when they realized the King and Queen would be making a visit to the estate and nearby town, calling them to call in extra help. The movie was a smash hit, grossing nearly $97 million at the domestic box office. Fans of Downton Abbey were thrilled to hear news of the sequel.