Downton Abbey has just added a huge new name to its cast, just when we thought we couldn't be more excited about the sequel than we already are!
According to sources, Dominic West is getting ready to join the likes of Hugh Bonneville, Elizabeth McGovern and Joanna Froggatt on the set of the period drama's highly anticipated second film, which is due to begin filming very soon.
The Daily Mail's Baz Bamigboye reports that The Affair actor is set to play a wealthy aristocrat who is invited to stay at the eponymous stately home by Lord Grantham.
WATCH: Jim Carter talks Downton Abbey sequel on This Morning
The 51-year-old actor is not the only new face of the franchise; French actress Nathalie Baye is also reported to be joining the cast as an old friend of Maggie Smith's Dowager Countess of Grantham, Violet Crawley.
Last year, the actor who is also rumoured to be starring in the upcoming fifth season of The Crown alongside Downton's Imelda Staunton made headlines when pictures emerged of him kissing Lily James, who portrayed Lady Rose in the drama's later seasons.
The first film was released in 2019
Fans wondering whether there will be any awkwardness on set between the two need not worry as it seems likely that Lily, 31, will not reprise her role, given she did not appear in the first film instalment.
News of the actor's casting comes after Jim Carter, who plays beloved butler Carsons, revealed that he and his co-stars have already started reading scripts for the film.
Lily James is unlikely to star in the sequel
Speaking to self-confessed fans of the franchise Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby on This Morning back in September, he said: "The script for a second film is there, we've seen it, it's very funny, and it's got all the same characters in it, all the regular characters."
More recently, he revealed that creator Julian Fellowes is putting the final touches to the script before the cast and crew descend on the iconic Highclere Castle in Berkshire this summer. "I have seen the script," he said, adding: "[But] I don't think I've seen the final script because I think Julian Fellowes is still refining and polishing the final draft."
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