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2017 News in Review: Downton Abbey – Maybe a Movie, Maybe Not?

Downton Abbey S6 Finale

Throughout December, take a trip down memory lane with us through a series of 2017 News in Review features. Here, we’ll look back at some of the best news articles that focused on the stars of your favourite VisionTV series.

Almost as soon as the final curtain was drawn on the “Downton Abbey” television series, a fan thirst for a movie based on the iconic British show developed quickly. With transcendent characters like the Dowager Countess, Carson, Mary Crawley and Thomas Barrow, who could blame series devotees for wishing for more?

As those involved with “Downton Abbey” explored new creative paths in 2017, one trend that proved almost inescapable for them was the questioning they’d receive regarding a Downton movie. What proved problematic, curious, even a bit entertaining, was that a party line wasn’t established. Thus, opinions went in all kinds of directions.

Julian Fellowes

Julian Fellowes: Downton Abbey Movie Could be a Prequel

For series creator Julian Fellowes, he seemed very much interested in penning a “Downton Abbey” movie. But, he often spoke about the logistical hurdles such a project would face.

“I hope there will be a film,” said Fellows during a Q&A session at a China Exchange event in June. “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.”

That response could’ve certainly cooled down the rumour mill, but Fellowes instead opted to float an idea that could prove challenging for “Downton Abbey” purists.

“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.” [Click here for the full article]

Downton Abbey - S6E4

Michelle Dockery “positive” a Downton Abbey Movie will Happen 

If a “Downton Abbey” movie were to happen – not as a prequel – you’d have to assume that fans would love to see Michelle Dockery (Mary Crawley) be part of that. Although she may now be busy starring in the crime drama “Good Behavior,” Dockery sympathizes with fan interest in a Downton movie, and personally believes that something will eventually make it to theatres.

“Ending Downton was very bittersweet for everyone,” said Dockery during an interview with the Independent. “It did feel like something that would go on forever and felt like the audience didn’t want it to end. I think that’s why talk of the movie is just endless.

“I’m positive something will happen at some stage,” continued Dockery. “We’ll just have to see. But I’m not bored of Mary.” [Click here for the full article]

Downton Abbey S6E2

Joanne Froggatt on Downton Abbey Movie: “Nothing has happened”

During an appearance at the Television Critics Assn. press tour in Beverley Hills, actress Joanne Froggatt (who played Anna Bates) was asked about the current status of a “Downton Abbey” movie. She sounded interested in getting the gang back together again, but wouldn’t be opposed to leaving things where they are.

“Selfishly, it would be great to get together for ten weeks and have a little reunion,” said Froggatt. “But in all honesty, I have no idea. I absolutely have no idea. There’s been talk, there have been conversations, but nothing has happened. We’re all sort of leaving it up to the gods. We have no information.”

She added: “I think we’d all like to do it. For me, the show finished in a great place and a great time. We finished on a high. Everything must come to an end; all good things must come to an end. I was very happy with where we left it.” [Click here for the full article]

Downton Abbey S5E4: Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham (MAGGIE SMITH)

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 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.” [Click here for the full article]

Maggie Smith - Downton Abbey Movie

The Speculation Continues

Rumblings have emerged that a script for “Downton Abbey” may be in the works and those behind the scenes are moving toward getting a film made. However, tantalizing details – like who may star in it, or when it’ll enter theatres – have yet to surface.

-Adam Grant 

Downton Abbey S6E7

VisionTV airs a wide variety of powerful British series. Click here to see what we have in store for your viewing pleasure. 

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