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The Downton Abbey Movie Is Officially Happening

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IMAGE COURTESY OF PBS
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After months of rumors, it's finally official: Downton Abbey is heading to the big screen. (We'll pause a moment while you let that news sink in.)

Focus Features and Carnival Films announced production on the Downton Abbey movie this morning.

“Since the series ended, fans of Downton have long been waiting for the Crawley family’s next chapter,” Focus chairman Peter Kujawski said in a statement. “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.”

A press release also shares that "the original principal cast from the acclaimed television series have assembled to return for the feature which will begin production later this summer."

It's unclear who exactly the "principal cast" includes, but it's unlikely we'll see Maggie Smith reprise her role as Violet Crawley, the Dowager Countess.

Back in October of 2017, Maggie Smith said pretty definitively that she wouldn't appear in any Downton Abbey spin-offs. "I can't," she told Graham Norton. "What age would I be?

And in an interview with the British Film Institute, the actress suggested the movie could begin with Lady Grantham's funeral.

"I just think it's squeezing it dry, do you know what I mean?" she said. "I don't know what it could possibly be. It was so meandering, what would you [do]? Anyway that's not my problem. That's the Lord's problem." (The Lord, in this case, being Downton creator Julian Fellows.)

That said, we do know Michelle Dockery will be returning as Lady Mary. She posted a photo on Instagram sharing the news with the caption, "The secret’s out... Thrilled to announce that #DowntonAbbey is coming to the big screen. Filming to commence this summer."

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No news yet on when the film will premiere, but we'll be sure to update as soon as we know more.

This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com.
* Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors.

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Caroline Hallemann
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