Downton Abbey is a 2019 historical period drama film written by Julian Fellowes, creator and writer of the television series of the same name, produced by Gareth Neame, Liz Trubridge and Fellowes, and directed by Michael Engler. The film is a Carnival Films production, with Focus Features and Universal Pictures International distributing and continues the storyline from the series, with much of the original cast returning. The film, set in 1927, depicts a visit by the King and Queen to the Crawley family's English country house in the Yorkshire countryside. As the Royal staff descend on Downton, an assassin has also arrived and attempts to kill the monarch. The family and servants are pitted against the royal entourage, including the Queen's Lady-in-waiting who has fallen out with the Crawleys, especially the Dowager Countess, over an inheritance issue.
It's been talked about for years and now, finally, Julian Fellowes' hit ITV period drama is transferring to the big screen.
All your favourite characters have returned – get ready for those famous Dame Maggie one-liners – along with a few high-profile new faces, including Imelda Staunton and Killing Eve's David Haig.
The film centres around a visit from the King and Queen, which has got both the Downton household and the village all aflutter.
Downton creator, Julian Fellowes, agrees: “We wanted people to recognise the series they loved in the film. Our job was to make it more cinematic.”
Kevin Doyle, who plays the upwardly mobile Joseph Moseley, says: “It was scary, all of us gathered downstairs in the wine cellar for our first scene – it's rare to come back together as a group of actors after a three-year gap.”
Lesley Nicol, who plays everyone's favourite cook Mrs Patmore, adds: “The film is much anticipated, so it's a lot of pressure.”
“The Downton film is so everyone can take two hours off Brexit!” Julian says.
“We're living in dark times, escapism is quite important,” concurs Penelope Wilton, who plays Isobel Grey.
We won't give anything away but Michelle has a very moving scene towards the end of the film with Dame Maggie, her granny in the film.
Michelle says: “Any scene with Maggie is a privilege and feels special but that particular one felt very special and emotional. I was very immersed in it and it's a joy to work with her. It was a moment in my career and in my life. I'll never forget it.”
Even more importantly, “Maggie's very good at playing Bananagrams”, according to Sophie.