It feels like we've been waiting forever, but we're slowly nearing closer and closer to the release of the brand new Downton Abbey film.
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The sequel, titled Downton Abbey: A New Era, is set to be released on 18 March 2022 and ahead of the film's release, one of the stars has dished some intriguing details - including who new cast members Dominic West, Laura Haddock and Hugh Dancy will be playing.
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Speaking to Daily Mail Weekend, Elizabeth McGovern revealed that Dominic, who will also be joining the cast of The Crown this year, will play a 1920s Hollywood actor who is at Downton to shoot his new movie. White Lines and Guardians of the Galaxy star Laura will play a fellow silent screen star, while Hannibal actor Hugh Dancy will portray the fictional film's director.
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"You see this clash of cultures when Hollywood meets Downton," the 60-year-old actress, who has been portraying the Countess of Grantham since the series first aired in 2010, said. "[A New Era] is set in 1928, nine months after the first one, when 'talkies', as opposed to silent films, were just starting to be made and they've got all these Hollywood movie stars and the director of a talking movie staying at the Abbey."
Laura Haddock will play a silent movie star
She continued: "I'll never forget when I showed up on set for the first time and there was Dominic West as this Hollywood actor with Laura Haddock as a silent screen star and Hugh Dancy as the director. They're having a blast in this movie, it's their personas and the humour that they bring to it."
Dominic West will play a 1920s actor who is at Downton to shoot his new movie
Elizabeth's comments come after creator and writer Julian Fellowes opened up about how he feels about killing off beloved characters, which has sparked fresh concern that a beloved character could be meeting their maker in the new instalment. During a chat with Alan Titchmarsh on Love Your Weekend, the 72-year-old admitted: "Killing them off is hard."
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"The audience always thinks you've done it wilfully," he explained. "You know, I come in on some tyrant, 'Off with his head', but it isn't, of course, it's the actor saying it's the end of my three-year contract and I've got a play on Broadway."
The follow-up to the hugely successful 2019 movie adaption of the ITV period drama was originally planned for Christmas 2021 - however, delays in production have forced the date to be set back by three months.