AceShowbiz - The Crawleys are gathering up for the upcoming holiday season. Focus Features confirmed on Monday, April 19 that "Downton Abbey" is getting a film sequel for a Christmas release, with series creator Julian Fellowes and the entire cast returning for the second movie.
The news was announced through the "Downton Abbey" social media pages along with the first teaser poster of "Downton Abbey 2". In addition to bringing back the original principal cast, the second movie will feature new characters who are going to be portrayed by Hugh Dancy, Laura Haddock, Nathalie Baye and Dominic West.
"We're thrilled to announce that Julian Fellowes and the entire Downton cast are back for #DowntonAbbey2," read a statement accompanying the poster, "with Hugh Dancy, Laura Haddock, Nathalie Baye and Dominic West joining! See the film in theaters this Christmas."
Their roles are still kept under wraps as are plot details of the new movie. Fellowes will once again write the script, while Simon Curtis ("My Week with Marilyn") is tapped to direct. The release is set for December 22 to be precise.
In a statement announcing the movie, Focus Features chairman Peter Kujawski said, "There's no place like home for the holidays, and we can't imagine a better gift than getting to reunite with Julian, [producer] Gareth Neame and the entire Downton family in 2021 to bring the Crawleys back home for their fans."
"Downton Abbey" started as a series that premiered on ITV in the U.K. in 2010 before airing in the U.S. on PBS in early 2011. The period drama series depicts the lives of the aristocratic Crawley family and their domestic servants in the post-Edwardian era, with the great events of the time having an effect on their lives and on the British social hierarchy.
It received acclaim from television critics and won numerous accolades during its six-season run, including a Golden Globe Award for Best Miniseries or Television Film and a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Miniseries or Movie. Thus, after the series ended its run in 2015, giving the show a big-screen treatment was a no-brainer.
The first film was released in 2019 and received generally positive reviews from critics, grossing $194 million worldwide. Following the success of the film adaptation, Fellowes and the cast teased about a possible sequel, with the screenwriter saying that he already had ideas for the follow-up movie.