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Julian Fellowes: Downton Abbey Movie Could be a Prequel

Julian Fellowes

Ever since “Downton Abbey” completed its critically acclaimed and fan-celebrated six seasons, there has been a gigantic public thirst for the iconic British series to become a movie.

Throughout the process, cast members have hinted at a script being in existence, shown a disinterest in participating, or completely welcomed the idea of a “Downton Abbey” film. Most recently, NBC Universal International Studios President Michael Edelstein commented that said project was “in the works” and has been for “some time.”

Well, late last month “Downton Abbey” creator Julian Fellowes kept the rumour mill on edge by once again reiterating that – considering the success and hectic schedules of actors and actresses from the series – making such a movie would be a challenge.

Downton Abbey Socialize

“I hope there will be a film,” said Fellows during a Q&A session at a China Exchange event. “It will be sad if we don’t do one. Most films are a punt and we have a solid audience waiting for it. The difficulty is rounding up the actors who have now gone off to the four corners of the earth, in Hollywood, on Broadway, doing plays, doing series and so on.”

But, added Fellowes, a way to get around that situation is to make a prequel, as opposed to a “Downton Abbey” film that picks up where the series left off.

“I think it would be possible to do a prequel that was re-cast and do a love story – so you went right back and had the young cast arriving in the show as footmen and Mrs. Patmore being a kitchen maid.”

Of course, the trick with a prequel is hoping that fans will connect with a new collection of actors tasked with filling the big shoes of adored predecessors. Then again, if the script is strong enough and the visuals are as eye-popping as on the “Downton Abbey” series, perhaps audiences could still be positively satisfied.

Time will certainly tell.

-Adam Grant

Downton Abbey S6E5: Lady Violet, Dowager Countess of Grantham (MAGGIE SMITH)

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