Downton Abbey is a celebrated British drama series that takes place in post-Edwardian England and depicts the lives and events of the British aristocracy of the early 1900s. Notable historical events play out on the world stage throughout the series, alongside the personal dramas of the Crawley family that the series centers on. Audiences of Downton Abbey eagerly watched as the Crawleys were affected by moments in history such as the Titanic sinking, Spanish Influenza, various wars, and more.
After six seasons and countless awards, Downton Abbey came to an end in December 2015. But then, much to the delight of the very large Downton fanbase, a feature film was released in 2019. And now, in 2022 we finally have a sequel film to look forward to!
Here’s everything we know so far about Downton Abbey: A New Era:
When is Downton Abbey: A New Era’s Release Date?
Downton Abbey: A New Era will hit theaters on March 18, 2022. The film was nearly released in time for Christmas of 2021, but the release date was eventually pushed to 2022. A New Era will also stream on Peacock, beginning 45 days after the theatrical release.
Watch the Downton Abbey: A New Era Trailer
Check out the official trailer of Downton Abbey: A New Era below:
Who is in the Downton Abbey: A New Era Cast?
Fans of the series and the first feature film will be pleased to learn that the principal cast are all returning for Downton Abbey: A New Era.
Cast members Maggie Smith, Hugh Bonneville, Elizabeth McGovern, Michelle Dockery, Laura Carmichael, Penelope Wilton, Allen Leech, Joanne Froggatt, Brendan Coyle, Sophie McShera, Lesley Nicol, Jim Carter, Tuppence Middleton, Imelda Staunton, Phyllis Logan, Robert James-Collier, Kevin Doyle, and Harry Hadden-Paton, are all confirmed to be reprising their roles.
New faces joining the cast include Hugh Dancy, of Hannibal acclaim, Laura Haddock, from Guardians of the Galaxy, Nathalie Baye, seen in Catch Me If You Can, Dominic West, known for The Wire, and Jonathan Zaccaï, from Robin Hood.
Who are the Main Characters of Downton Abbey: A New Era?
Here’s a breakdown of who’s who in the new Downton Abbey movie:
Maggie Smith is Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham and matriarch of the prominent family. Sharp as a tack and quick-witted too, Violet Crawley is a force of great influence at Downton Abbey, and often butts heads with her more progressive daughter-in-law and other headstrong women in the family.
Hugh Bonneville is Robert Crawley, 7th Earl of Grantham and son of Violet Crawley. Robert Crawley grew up at Downton Abbey, and is a good employer who has great pride in the estate. As a symbol of old world aristocracy, Robert sometimes finds himself torn between modern ideals and strong tradition.
Elizabeth McGovern is Cora Crawley, Countess of Grantham and wife of Robert. Lady Grantham is forward-thinking, decisive, and… American. An heiress in her own country, Cora has adapted to the British aristocracy, while also maintaining her headstrong disposition.
Michelle Dockery is Lady Mary Talbot, the eldest daughter of Robert and Cora Crawley, who is now married to Henry Talbot. After facing her own grief and heartbreak, Mary’s unwavering devotion to Downton Abbey has finally led her to a life of happiness.
Laura Carmichael is Edith Pelham, Marchioness of Hexham, formerly Lady Edith Crawley. Edith is the second daughter of Robert and Cora, younger sister to Mary. Also no stranger to heartache, Edith was unlucky in love before settling into marriage with Bertie Pelham. Edith is mother to a child from a former suitor, a fact which her family has grown to accept.
Penelope Wilton is Isobel Grey, Lady Merton, a relative of the Crawleys who often resides at Downton Abbey. As a nurse with modern and progressive values, Isobel finds herself quarreling with estate matriarch Violet, most of the time.
Allen Leech is Tom Branson, who was originally a chauffeur to the family. Tom married the youngest Crawley daughter and lived in Ireland with her for a time, before she tragically died. Now back at Downton Abbey with his young daughter, Tom remains a loyal and vital member of the Crawley family.
Joanne Froggatt is Anna Bates, ladies maid to the Crawley family. Anna has worked and lived at Downton Abbey for many years, and is very close to Mary. Anna now lives in a cottage on the grounds with her husband, fellow Downton employee, John Bates.
Brendan Coyle is John Bates, also known simply as Mr. Bates. After serving in the army alongside Robert Crawley, in which he suffered a leg injury, Mr. Bates now serves as the Earl’s personal valet.
Lesley Nicol is Beryl Patmore, head of the kitchen at Downton Abbey. As the lead cook and overseer of maids, Beryl has developed a deep motherly relationship with Daisy.
Jim Carter is Charles Carson, or Mr. Carson, the long-time butler of the estate. Mr. Carson’s own father worked at Downton, and he prides himself in the honor of his traditions. Mr. Carson is especially close to the eldest Crawley daughter, Mary, and lives on the grounds with fellow employee, Elsie.
Phyllis Logan is Elsie Carson, formerly Mrs. Hughes, the head housekeeper of Downton Abbey. A no-nonsense woman, Mrs. Carson runs the household very efficiently, and isn’t afraid to speak her mind – especially to Mr. Carson.
Robert James-Collier is Thomas Barrow, the under-butler of Downton Abbey. After serving in the war and chasing various schemes, Mr. Barrow was a figure in and out of the Downton household. Now a permanent fixture to the Crawley family, Mr. Barrow continues to try to prove where his loyalties lie.
Who is Involved with Downton Abbey: A New Era’s Production?
Creator of Downton Abbey, Julian Fellowes, returns to the beloved series as the writer of the film’s screenplay. Additionally, BAFTA and Emmy Award winner Gareth Neame, along with Emmy winning Liz Trubridge, join Fellowes in producing the film. Simon Curtis is slated to direct, replacing the director of the first Downton Abbey film, Michael Engler.
“We can’t imagine a better gift than getting to reunite with Julian, Gareth, and the entire Downton family,” Peter Kajuwski, chairman of Focus Features, told Variety last April.
“After a very challenging year with so many of us separated from family and friends, it is a huge comfort to think that better times are ahead,” added Neame.
When is Downton Abbey: A New Era Filming?
Following the success of 2019’s first Downton Abbey film, Fellowes and the Downton cast were anxious to do a sequel.
News broke in January 2020 that Fellowes would start work on the second Downton film once he completed his other series, The Gilded Age, and by September, Downton’s Jim Carter stated that the script for the sequel had been written. Finally, in February 2021, Hugh Bonneville told BBC Radio 2 that the film would be made following Covid-19 vaccinations for the cast and crew.
Filming was originally scheduled to take place in Hampshire, England, for the month of June 12th through August 12th of 2021. Production had already taken place in mid-April, though, with some cast completing filming as early as July. Elizabeth McGovern took to Instagram on July 16th of 2021 to announce that she had finished filming.
By August 25th, 2021 the title for the sequel film, Downton Abbey: A New Era, was announced.
What Will Downton Abbey: A New Era Be About?
We don’t know yet what exactly Downton Abbey: A New Era will be about, but we do have a few hints from the trailer. Not only do we get a peek of Laura Haddock’s character, Myrna Dalgleish, but we also see the Crawley family travel to the South of France.
The Crawleys receive news from the matriarch of the family, Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham, about a mysterious inheritance. The Countess informs her family that, according to an unknown person’s will, she’s been left a house in the South of France where they are vacationing. Additionally, it looks as though we’ll learn more about Violet Crawley’s past. What will the Countess’s past reveal? We can’t wait to find out.
Don’t miss Downton Abbey: A New Era, in theaters on March 18.