To the delight of Downton Abbey fans everywhere, Focus Features announced on Friday that the Crawley family is heading to the big screen.
But today, it was confirmed that at least one beloved character won't be in the movie. Lily James, who played Lady Rose in the
“My character Rose moved off to New York, so it would be farfetched to bring her back,” she said.
Despite James's burgeoning career, she said it wasn't a scheduling issue. “I would have loved to have come back for a scene, but for a movie, it can’t be like a Christmas special and it needs to be a focused storyline,” she said. “There was no space for Rose.”
But that doesn't mean she isn't excited to see the Crawley family's story continue on-screen. "I’m so excited for it—I’m going to be front row," she said.
In a press release on Friday, Focus Features and Carnival Films shared that "the original principal cast from the acclaimed television series have assembled to return for the feature which will begin production later this summer."
But it's still a little unclear what they mean by "the original principal cast." Several actors including Michelle Dockery, who played Lady Mary on the show, and Joanne Froggatt, who played Anna Bates, posted on social media, confirming both their excitement for and participation in the project.
But in addition to James, Maggie Smith, who played Violet Crawley, the Dowager Countess, might not appear in the film.
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, she 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]?
This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com.
* Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors.