The cast of the Downton Abbey movie

The Downton Abbey Movie Sequel Has A New Title And A New Era

It's gonna be jazzy.

Originally Published: 
Focus Features

Break out the good china and let the butler know the British are coming. Fan-favorite period romance drama Downton Abbey is coming back with a brand-new film, a sequel to the hit movie from 2019. It was never really a matter of if, but when a sequel would arrive, but with the confirmation that Downton Abbey 2 will release in theaters in 2022, fans can start readying their outfits for a new era.

The initial Downton Abbey film dominated theaters its opening weekend, surprising industry watchers by being the top-grossing film of September 2019. The movie went on to bring in $237 million worldwide, a superhero-level amount of money. (To be fair, one could argue that Lady Violet Crawley is practically on par with X-Men, what with her ability to take out all comers via barbed witticisms.)

Like the first film, the presumed problem with Downton 2 was how to get the sprawling cast to line up their schedules. However, for once, the coronavirus-related shutdowns in the entertainment world may have worked to aid a project instead of hinder it. The cast and crew began filming the project in mid-April 2021, right when the UK lifted its third round of lockdown restrictions. But though the production initially hoped for a holiday-timed release, things didn’t move that quickly, and now the sequel is scheduled to arrive in the spring.

So, what's going to happen in Downton Abbey 2? Here's everything we know so far:

Downton Abbey: A New Era Trailer

Focus Features

Despite everyone's best efforts to keep the forthcoming film under wraps, Hugh Bonneville spilled a few beans about Downton Abbey 2 in February 2021. Speaking to BBC Radio 2, he hinted filming was just around the corner. In April 2021, Focus Features made that official with an announcement that Downton Abbey 2 was already filming.

In August 2021, the first trailer was released at CinemaCon. Though the clip was not released to the public, descriptions from those in the room came away with impressions of “glitz, glamour, and jazz.” There were also scenes of a wedding (though it seemed that the trailer did not show whose) and Mr. Carson announcing, “The British are coming.”

Well, if the British are coming, someone will just have to do the polite thing and put the kettle on. Tea anyone?

There is currently no date set for the trailer to hit YouTube, though hopefully, fans won’t have to wait long.

Downton Abbey: A New Era Cast

Focus Features

According to Focus Features' announcement, "the original principal cast" will return for the new film. That means fans will again get to see the Crawley family, including Hugh Bonneville and Elizabeth McGovern as Lord and Lady Grantham. Michelle Dockery and Laura Carmichael will return as their daughters Lady Mary and Lady Edith, and Allen Leech as son-in-law Tom Branson. Matthew Goode and Harry Hadden-Paton will return as Mary and Edith's respective husbands. Of course, Penelope Wilton and Maggie Smith continue to be the grand dames of the series as Isobel and Violet.

The downstairs staff once again begins with Jim Carter and Phyllis Logan as Carson and Mrs. Hughes, Brendan Coyle and Joanne Froggatt as Bates and Anne, and Michael Fox and Sophie McShera and Andy and Daisy. Rob James-Collier continues to be the world's meanest butler, Barrow, Kevin Doyle as the hapless footman Molesley, Raquel Cassidy as lady's maid Baxter, and Lesley Nicol as everyone's favorite sharp-tongued cook Mrs. Patmore.

The new film also adds in a few new faces. Hannibal's Hugh Dancy and Guardians of the Galaxy's Laura Haddock are the two biggest names to join the cast. French legend Nathalie Baye (The Return of Martin Guerre) and The Crown's Dominic West will also be featured. Imelda Staunton (The Crown), who joined the Crawley family in the first film as distant cousin Lady Maud, will also reprise her role.

Downton Abbey: A New Era Plot

Focus Features

The first movie featured a royal visit from George V and Queen Mary. It was the perfect excuse for bringing the band back together, with details based on actual British history.

No plot has been released as of yet for the new Downton Abbey film, but there is at least one clue hidden in the casting: Nathalie Baye, a French actor on par with Maggie Smith. This suggests that once again the interpersonal drama will feature two high-born ladies duking it out, although precisely what the excuse is for Baye's character to travel to England remains to be seen. As for how a wedding factors in, perhaps it’s wedding bells number two for Branson? Or perhaps Andy and Daisy will finally pair off once and for all.

Downton Abbey: A New Era Release Date

Focus Features

Initially, Downton Abbey 2 was promised to arrive at “Christmas 2021,” but by summer, that release spot was retracted. In August 2021, details for the new film, including the title, were announced at CinemaCon, along with a new release date.

Downton Abbey: A New Era will arrive in theaters on Friday, March 18, 2022.

All six season of the original Downton Abbey series are streaming on Netflix. The Downton Abbey movie is available as a streaming rental on Amazon Prime.