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‘Downton Abbey: A New Era’: Release Date, Cast, Trailer, and Everything We Know So Far

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‘Downton Abbey: A New Era’: Release Date, Cast, Trailer, and Everything We Know So Far

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!

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Here’s everything we know so far about Downton Abbey: A New Era:

Related:‘The Gilded Age’ Trailer Shows Old Money vs. New Money in HBO Series From ‘Downton Abbey’s Julian Fellowes

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:

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Related:Dan Stevens on Leaving ‘Downton Abbey’: “There Was Never a Big Game Plan”

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.


Related:‘Downton Abbey’ Movie Digital and Blu-ray Release Date Details, Bonus Features Revealed

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.

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“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.

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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.

Related:’Downton Abbey 2′ Filming Begins as First Set Photo Revealed

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.

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Don’t miss Downton Abbey: A New Era, in theaters on March 18.


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Review: SAMARITAN, A Sly Stallone Superhero Stumble

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Review: SAMARITAN, A Sly Stallone Superhero Stumble

Hitting the three-quarter-century mark usually means a retirement home, a nursing facility, or if you’re lucky to be blessed with relatively good health and savings to match, living in a gated community in Arizona or Florida.

For Sylvester Stallone, however, it means something else entirely: starring in the first superhero-centered film of his decades-long career in the much-delayed Samaritan. Unfortunately for Stallone and the audience on the other side of the screen, the derivative, turgid, forgettable results won’t get mentioned in a career retrospective, let alone among the ever-expanding list of must-see entries in a genre already well past its peak.

For Stallone, however, it’s better late than never when it involves the superhero genre. Maybe in getting a taste of the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) with his walk-on role in the Guardians of the Galaxy sequel several years ago, Stallone thought anything Marvel can do, I can do even better (or just as good in the nebulous definition of the word).

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The property Stallone and his team found for him, Samaritan, a little-known graphic novel released by a small, almost negligible, publisher, certainly takes advantage of Stallone’s brute-force physicality and his often underrated talent for near-monosyllabic brooding (e.g., the Rambo series), but too often gives him to little do or say as the lone super-powered survivor, the so-called “Samaritan” of the title, of a lifelong rivalry with his brother, “Nemesis.” Two brothers entered a fire-ravaged building and while both were presumed dead, one brother did survive (Stallone’s Joe Smith, a garbageman by day, an appliance repairman by night).

In the Granite City of screenwriter Bragi F. Schut (Escape Room, Season of the Witch), the United States, and presumably the rest of the world, teeters on economic and political collapse, with a recession spiraling into a depression, steady gigs difficult, if not impossible, to obtain, and the city’s neighborhoods rocked by crime and violence. No one’s safe, not even 13-year-old Sam (Javon Walker), Joe’s neighbor.

When he’s not dodging bullies connected to a gang, he’s falling under the undue influence of Cyrus (Pilou Asbæk), a low-rent gang leader with an outsized ego and the conviction that he and only he can take on Nemesis’s mantle and along with that mantle, a hammer “forged in hate,” to orchestrate a Bane-like plan to plunge the city into chaos and become a wealthy power-broker in the process.

Schut’s woefully underwritten script takes a clumsy, haphazard approach to world-building, relying on a two-minute animated sequence to open Samaritan while a naive, worshipful Sam narrates Samaritan and Nemesis’s supposedly tragic, Cain and Abel-inspired backstory. Schut and director Julius Avery (Overlord) clumsily attempt to contrast Sam’s childish belief in messiah-like, superheroic saviors stepping in to save humanity from itself and its own worst excesses, but following that path leads to authoritarianism and fascism (ideas better, more thoroughly explored in Watchmen and The Boys).

While Sam continues to think otherwise, Stallone’s superhero, 25 years past his last, fatal encounter with his presumably deceased brother, obviously believes superheroes are the problem and not the solution (a somewhat reasonable position), but as Samaritan tracks Joe and Sam’s friendship, Sam giving Joe the son he never had, Joe giving Sam the father he lost to street violence well before the film’s opening scene, it gets closer and closer to embracing, if not outright endorsing Sam’s power fantasies, right through a literally and figuratively explosive ending. Might, as always, wins regardless of how righteous or justified the underlying action.

It’s what superhero audiences want, apparently, and what Samaritan uncritically delivers via a woefully under-rendered finale involving not just unconvincing CGI fire effects, but a videogame cut-scene quality Stallone in a late-film flashback sequence that’s meant to be subversively revelatory, but will instead lead to unintentional laughter for anyone who’s managed to sit the entirety of Samaritan’s one-hour and 40-minute running time.

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Samaritan is now streaming worldwide on Prime Video.

Samaritan

Cast
  • Sylvester Stallone
  • Javon ‘Wanna’ Walton
  • Pilou Asbæk

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Matt Shakman Is In Talks To Direct ‘Fantastic Four’

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According to a new report, Wandavision’s Matt Shakman is in talks to direct the upcoming MCU project, Fantastic Four. Marvel Studios has been very hush-hush regarding Fantastic Four to the point where no official announcements have been made other than the film’s release date. No casting news or literally anything other than rumors has been released regarding the project. We know that Fantastic Four is slated for release on November 8th, 2024, and will be a part of Marvel’s Phase 6. There are also rumors that the cast of the new Fantastic Four will be announced at the D23 Expo on September 9th.

Fantastic Four is still over two years from release, and we assume we will hear more news about the project in the coming months. However, the idea of the Fantastic Four has already been introduced into the MCU. John Krasinski played Reed Richards aka Mr. Fantastic in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. The cameo was a huge deal for fans who have been waiting a long time for the Fantastic Four to enter the MCU. When Disney acquired Twenty Century Fox in 2019 we assumed that the Fox Marvel characters would eventually make their way into the MCU. It’s been 3 years and we already have had an X-Men and Fantastic Four cameo – even if they were from another universe.

Deadline is reporting that Wandavision’s Matt Shakman is in talks to direct Fantastic Four. Shakman served as the director for Wandavision and has had an extensive career. He directed two episodes of Game of Thrones and an episode of The Boys, and he had a long stint on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. There is nothing official yet, but Deadline’s sources say that Shakman is currently in talks for the job and things are headed in the right direction.

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To be honest, I was a bit more excited when Jon Watts was set to direct. I’m sure Shakman is a good director, but Watts proved he could handle a tentpole superhero film with Spider-Man: Homecoming. Wandavision was good, but Watts’ style would have been perfect for Fantastic Four. The film is probably one of the most anticipated films in Marvel’s upcoming slate films and they need to find the best person they can to direct. Is that Matt Shakman? It could be, but whoever takes the job must realize that Marvel has a lot riding on this movie. The other Fantastic Four films were awful and fans deserve better. Hopefully, Marvel knocks it out of the park as they usually do. You can see for yourself when Fantastic Four hits theaters on November 8th, 2024.

Film Synopsis: One of Marvel’s most iconic families makes it to the big screen: the Fantastic Four.

Source: Deadline

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Dan Aykroyd, Chevy Chase Star in ‘Zombie Town’ Mystery Teen Romancer (Exclusive)

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Dan Aykroyd and Chevy Chase have entered Zombie Town, a mystery teen romancer based on author R.L. Stine’s book of the same name.

The indie, now shooting in Ontario, also stars Henry Czerny and co-teen leads Marlon Kazadi and Madi Monroe. The ensemble cast includes Scott Thompson and Bruce McCulloch of the Canadian comedy show Kids in the Hall.

Canadian animator Peter Lepeniotis will direct Zombie Town. Stine’s kid’s book sees a quiet town upended when 12-year-old Mike and his friend, Karen, see a horror movie called Zombie Town and unexpectedly see the title characters leap off the screen and chase them through the theater.

Zombie Town will premiere in U.S. theaters before streaming on Hulu and then ABC Australia in 2023.

“We are delighted to bring the pages of R.L. Stine’s Zombie Town to the screen and equally thrilled to be working with such an exceptional cast and crew on this production. A three-time Nickelodeon Kids Choice Award winner with book sales of over $500 million, R.L. Stine has a phenomenal track record of crafting stories that engage and entertain audiences,” John Gillespie, Trimuse Entertainment founder and executive producer, said in a statement.

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Executive producers are Trimuse Entertainment, Toonz Media Group, Lookout Entertainment, Viva Pictures and Sons of Anarchy actor Kim Coates.  

Paco Alvarez and Mark Holdom of Trimuse negotiated the deal to acquire the rights to Stine’s Zombie Town book.

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