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Maggie Smith Splashes Cold Water on Downton Abbey Movie Idea

If you’re hoping to see actress Maggie Smith in a “Downton Abbey” film, it may be wise to not count(ess) your chickens before they hatch. During an appearance on April 8 at the BFI and Radio Times Television Festival, the screen legend splashed cold water on the idea.

BBC America’s Anglophenia reports Smith as stating: “They talk about there being a film but who knows. I hope you might tell me if you do know. I just think it’s squeezing [‘Downton’] dry, do you know what I mean? I don’t know what it could possibly be. It’s too meandering.”

She added: “Anyway, that’s not my problem, is it? That’s the Lord’s (Julian Fellowes’) problem.”

What’s brought new hope to the possibility of a “Downton Abbey” movie is series star Jeremy Swift (Spratt) revealing in a recent interview that a script was in existence and a filming period has been targeted.

“There is a film script which we’ve all been sent, but it disappeared in a Mission Impossible style from our emails,” said Swift during an appearance on the ITV chat show, ‘Lorraine.’ “It is supposed to be filming this year, but it hasn’t been locked down yet.”

Swift went on to explain that logistically a “Downton Abbey” movie would be tough to pull together, considering the busy schedules of the series’ stars.

While theorizing a potential storyline for her character, the Dowager Countess, Smith poked at the idea of the movie starting in a not so cheery place.

“I was firmly convinced [the film] would start with the [Dowager’s] funeral,” offered Smith. “I could croak it, and it would just start with the body.”

So, perhaps the “Downton Abbey” film could happen…over this character’s dead body?

Stay tuned!

For those devoted to the Dowager Countess, you can catch our special encore presentation of the sixth and final season of “Downton Abbey” Wednesdays at 10pm ET/7pm PT.

-Adam Grant