Downton Abbey to return as film? Maggie Smith unlikely to reprise role as Dowager Countess
For a long but memorable five years, historical period drama Downton Abbey, which was a show about the goings-on in an aristocratic family residing in England, caught the attention of TV viewers across the world. Now, the Earl of Grantham and his family are going to return in a film adaptation of the show.
Production for the film will start in 2018. "We are working on getting the script right and then we’ve got to figure out how to get the (cast) together. Because as you know, people go on and do other things. But we’re hopeful to make a movie sometime next year," said Michael Edelstein, president at NBC Universal International Studios.
Julian Fellowes, the creator of the show, said that the studio is yet to give the green signal to the project, adding that "rounding up all the cast as, compared with most series, it has such a large cast. And it needs to be Downton-esque," would be the most challenging part. He mentioned that he has begun work on the script.
Meanwhile, the cast members are still unaware about this development, but feel positively about it. "Well, tell my agent, because we’re still wanting to know. We’re hoping that will happen soon, said Laura Carmichael, who played Lady Edith on the show. Sophie McShera, who played Daisy, the cook, said that she and the rest of the cast would love to be part of the film.
To the dismay of fans, however, Dame Maggie Smith will likely not be part of the project. When asked about a potential film based on Downton Abbey, she called it an overkill, adding, "I think it’s squeezing it dry, do you know what I mean?”
Back in 2012, it was reported that Julian Fellowes was planning a prequel which would center on Lord and Lady Grantham's relationship before they got married.
Downton Abbey aired between 2010 and 2015, and starred Hugh Bonneville, Laura Carmichael, Jim Carter, Michelle Dockery, Elizabeth McGovern and Maggie Smith in the lead roles.