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Everything we know so far about the Downton Abbey film sequel

Did you enjoy the first Downton Abbey film?

Francesca Shillcock

Although we're loving watching reruns of Downton Abbey, we can't help but hope for more drama and scandal at Highclere Castle.

MORE: Fans struggle to recognise Hugh Bonneville during latest TV appearance

After 2019's hugely successful film adaption of Julian Fellowes' drama, fans have been begging for a sequel, and there have been hints and speculation about a follow-up ever since. So, will they or won't they? Here's what we know…

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WATCH: Inside the real Downton! At home with Lady Carnarvon

Will there be a Downton Abbey sequel?

By the sound of it, a sequel is certainly on the cards. Shortly after the film's release, producer Gareth Neame confirmed that a sequel is in the pipeline. But, as with anything, not to mention the delay in production across the film and television industry due to the coronavirus outbreak, the when is the crucial point. The producer told the Hollywood Reporter: "We're working on what the story is, and when we might be able to make it. But it's the same as the first time around: we have to try to get everyone back together again. The challenge will be, is everyone available at the same time? Can we make deals with them? That will be the challenge."

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Fans are desperate for a second Downton movie

In April this year, Gareth then stated in an interview with Entertainment Weekly: "We are totally committed to making a sequel if we can bring all the elements back. During the course of this year, we will have a script and we will try to assemble all the actors again, you know, as soon as we can." We'll just have to be patient!

Who will star in the Downton Abbey sequel?

All the familiar and much-loved faces that make Downton so special are likely to all return to reprise their roles. Stars such as Hugh Bonneville, Laura Carmichael, Jim Carter and Joanne Froggatt would no doubt be written into the new script, and many of the stars themselves have opened up about the prospect of a sequel. Jim Carter, who played the butler Carson in the show and film, previously said how much he'd like there to be a sequel on This Morning, explaining: "I think there's plenty of room for more. I'll be at the front door and I'll even let you in! There's potential there and I think we would be very happy to do it, if everyone enjoys the first one."

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All the familiar faces would likely reprise their roles

Hugh Bonneville, who played Lord Grantham, joked in an interview with Vanity Fair that the franchise could be like Star Wars: "How many movies were there of Star Wars? This could run and run." While Laura Carmichael, who played Lady Edith Crawley, told Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield during an appearance on This Morning this week: "I mean we don't know but we had such an amazing reaction. We loved doing it, you know for us it felt like a big reunion but it went down really well, better than anyone had expected. So yeah, it might be a good time for Julian to be sat at the laptop but we'll see."

What will the Downton Abbey sequel be about?

Much like the series, the film followed the lives of the wealthy Crawley family and their maids, butlers and cooks and the sequel will no doubt feature many of the same themes. In the first film, however, the family are thrown into disarray by the impending arrival of King George V and Queen Mary. But there was one aspect that many will no doubt be questioning ahead of the second film: the fate of Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham, played by Dame Maggie Smith.

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The future of Violet Crawley could be confirmed in the sequel

At the end of the first film (spoiler alert) Violet's death was alluded to in an intimate scene between herself and granddaughter Lady Mary (played by Michelle Dockery) after she reveals she's suffering from an illness likely to take her life. However, in a recent interview, Julian Fellowes insisted that Violet is, in fact, still alive – meaning she could have a central role in the sequel. "We should remember that at the end of the film, Maggie was by no means dead," he said. "You imagine Violet is on her way out, but that decision hasn't been reached."

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