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Everything we know so far about the Downton Abbey film sequel

Did you enjoy the first Downton Abbey film?

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Francesca Shillcock
Francesca ShillcockSenior Features Writer
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Although we love watching reruns of Downton Abbey, we can't help but hope for more drama and scandal at Highclere Castle. 

After 2019's hugely successful film adaption of Julian Fellowes' drama, fans were overjoyed to hear that a sequel was in the works. So what will the new film be about? And who will be returning to Highclere Castle to reprise their role?

MORE: Downton Abbey star Joanne Froggatt’s new drama Sherwood looks amazing - details

We've done some investigating and here is all you need to know about the upcoming film, Downton Abbey 2...

WATCH: Did you enjoy the first Downton Abbey film?

Will there be a Downton Abbey sequel?

Yes! A Downton Abbey sequel was announced shortly after the first 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. 

In June of this year, the good news was confirmed. The cast and crew officially returned to set and announced the news on their Instagram. The official Downton Abbey account confirmed the news with a photo taken from behind the scenes of the sequel simply captioned: "It's so good to be back. #DowntonAbbey2."

In more recent news, the period drama confirmed this week that the title for the second film would be: Downton Abbey: A New Era. Exciting times!

MORE: Where are the Downton Abbey child stars now?

MORE: Meet Downton Abbey star Jim Carter's family – from co-star wife to children

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Fans are so excited for the second Downton movie

When can fans expect Downton Abbey 2?

Downton Abbey: A New Era will be released in UK cinemas on Friday 18 March, 2022. Despite the production commencing in June this year, the release date for Downton has faced some setbacks. After it was originally due for a Christmas release, it was then reported that the sequel had been pushed back to March due to a halt in production.

MORE: Downton Abbey cast and their real life partners

Who will star in the Downton Abbey sequel?

All the familiar and much-loved faces that make Downton so special are set to all return to reprise their roles. Stars such as Jim Carter, Hugh Bonneville, Laura Carmichael, and Joanne Froggatt would no doubt be written into the new script. Other actors returning include Matthew Goode, Michelle Dockery and Elizabeth McGovern.

As well as the regulars, some brand new stars have been announced as joining the line-up - and we cannot wait to see them in action. Earlier this year, the team at Downton announced the four famous faces who will make their debut at Highclere in the secon film. They include, Dominic West, Nathalie Bate, Hugh Dancy and Laura Haddock

MORE: Who are the new cast members playing in the Downton Abbey sequel?

downton cast

All the familiar faces are set to reprise their roles

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.

MORE: Downton Abbey film sequel: what's the future for Violet Crawley, Countess of Grantham?

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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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