TV hit Down­ton Abbey coming to big screen

Award-win­ning tele­vi­sion drama cast re­unite to pro­duce new film

The Courier & Advertiser (Fife Edition) - - NEWS - SH­ERNA NOAH

It’s of­fi­cial – Down­ton Abbey the movie is on its way with the orig­i­nal star cast of the tele­vi­sion se­ries re­unit­ing for the film.

Pro­duc­ers said that the “orig­i­nal prin­ci­pal cast” from the pe­riod drama will re­turn for the movie, to be­gin pro­duc­tion later this sum­mer, with a likely re­lease next year.

Down­ton’s cre­ator Ju­lian Fel­lowes wrote the new screen­play and will also co-pro­duce the hotly an­tic­i­pated film.

The an­nounce­ment has fol­lowed fevered spec­u­la­tion about when the ITV drama, star­ring Hugh Bon­neville, Michelle Dock­ery, Dame Mag­gie Smith, Laura Carmichael, Jim Carter and oth­ers would make it to the big screen.

Dock­ery, who played Lady Mary Craw­ley, wrote on In­sta­gram: “The se­cret’s out ... thrilled to an­nounce that Down­ton Abbey is coming to the big screen.”

Joanne Frog­gatt, who played Anna Bates, tweeted a snap of her­self along­side Dock­ery and Dame Mag­gie Smith (who played Lady Craw­ley), writ­ing: “De­lighted to an­nounce we’re get­ting the band back to­gether!”

Brian Per­ci­val, whose cred­its in­clude About A Girl and who di­rected the se­ries’ pi­lot, will di­rect the film.

The film’s pro­ducer, Gareth Neame, said in a state­ment: “When the tele­vi­sion se­ries drew to a close it was our dream to bring the mil­lions of global fans a movie and now, af­ter get­ting many stars aligned, we are shortly to go into pro­duc­tion.

“Ju­lian’s script charms, thrills and en­ter­tains and in Brian Per­ci­val’s hands we aim to de­liver ev­ery­thing that one would hope for as Down­ton comes to the big screen.”

Peter Ku­jawski, chair­man of pro­duc­tion com­pany Fo­cus Fea­tures, said: “Since the se­ries ended, fans of Down­ton have long been wait­ing for the Craw­ley fam­ily’s next chap­ter.

“We’re thrilled to join this in­cred­i­ble group of film-mak­ers, ac­tors and crafts­peo­ple, led by Ju­lian Fel­lowes and Gareth Neame, in bring­ing back the world of Down­ton to the big screen.”

The hit tele­vi­sion se­ries Down­ton Abbey fol­lowed the lives of the Craw­ley fam­ily and the ser­vants who worked for them at the turn of the 20th Cen­tury in an Ed­war­dian English coun­try home.

It ran for six sea­sons on ITV in the UK and PBS in the US, won three Golden

It was our dream to bring the mil­lions of global fans a movie

Globes and 15 Em­mys from 69 nom­i­na­tions, which made it the most nom­i­nated non-US tele­vi­sion show in the his­tory of the awards.

Its enor­mous fol­low­ing is credited with kick­start­ing a re­vival in pe­riod drama on both the big and small screen, and pro­pel­ling stars, in­clud­ing Bon­neville and Dock­ery, to in­ter­na­tional fame.

Phyl­lis Lo­gan, who played house­keeper Mrs Hughes, said the cast had been con­sulted about when they are avail­able and added: “There’s a po­ten­tial script coming our way, slightly rewrit­ten.”

The orig­i­nal prin­ci­pal cast of hit tele­vi­sion se­ries Down­ton Abbey are to ap­pear in a new fea­ture film.

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