This year’s awards season hasn’t even gotten fully rolling just yet, and already a much-hyped contender for next year’s race has entered the fray. After being officially announced in July, the long-chattered-about “Downton Abbey” feature film is set to debut on Friday, September 20, 2019 in North America, thank to Focus Features, with Universal Pictures International set release it on Friday, September 13, 2019 internationally. Such calendar placement hints that the film could be primed for a fall festival debut and a very merry 2019-2020 awards season.
While details on the feature are still slim, today’s announcement does include confirmation that principal stars Hugh Bonneville, Laura Carmichael, Jim Carter, Brendan Coyle, Michelle Dockery, Kevin Doyle, Joanne Froggatt, Matthew Goode, Harry Hadden-Paton, Robert James-Collier, Allen Leech, Phyllis Logan, Elizabeth McGovern, Sophie McShera, Lesley Nicol, Penelope Wilton, and Maggie Smith will return, and they will be joined by new cast members including Imelda Staunton, Geraldine James, Simon Jones, David Haig, Tuppence Middleton, Kate Phillips, and Stephen Campbell Moore.
“Since the series ended, fans of ‘Downton’ have long been waiting for the Crawley family’s next chapter,” said Focus chairman Peter Kujawski in an official statement. “We’re thrilled to join this incredible group of filmmakers, actors and craftspeople, led by Julian Fellowes and Gareth Neame, in bringing back the world of ‘Downton’ to the big screen next September.”
Academy Award winner Julian Fellowes, who created the series and wrote the film’s screenplay, will produce the film alongside Gareth Neame and Liz Trubridge. Michael Engler is set to direct. Brian Percival, who directed the series’ pilot, will executive produce the movie alongside Nigel Marchant.