The Earl of Grantham opens his doors again in the forthcoming Downton Abbey sequel. The follow-up to the 2019 box office hit is officially named Downton Abbey: A New Era, although it's currently unclear which period the film occupies. The announcement was made at the 2021 Las Vegas CinemaCon, which also unveiled the title of the fourth Matrix movie, along with the first footage.
The original Downton Abbey ITV series was famous for proceeding through various eras at a fair old clip. And given that the first movie took place in the wake of World War I in 1927, we might imagine that the latest instalment builds towards the onset of World War II in the 1930s.
Series creator and screenwriter Julian Fellowes is back to pen to the script, and several familiar faces are expected to return. This includes Dame Maggie Smith, Hugh Bonneville, Jim Carter, Laura Carmichael, Michelle Dockery and Elizabeth McGovern with franchise newcomers including Dominic West, Hugh Dancy, Laura Haddock and Nathalie Baye.
The first Downton movie was a box office hit (perhaps unsurprising, given the pedigree of the show), grossing $194 million against a $20 million budget. That's probably barely enough to cover Downton's annual window cleaning bill but it demonstrated the level of loyalty from fans, even several years after the TV series finished.
Downton Abbey: A New Era is scheduled for release on 18th March 2022.