Since the British drama “Downton Abbey” ended its six-season run, series creator Julian Fellowes penned a follow-up film released in 2019. Now, the Crawleys are returning to the big screen for a second time with “Downton Abbey: A New Era,” featuring the return of nearly all the series regulars in a film that follows the trials and tribulations of the aristocratic family and their servants later into the 1920s. Below, find the first teaser trailer from Focus Features, which is releasing the film in the U.S. in March.
Plot details remain under wraps, but the “Downton Abbey” sequel is set to take place after the events of the first film, which traced the preparation by the Crawley household for a visit by King George V and Queen Mary, an event that proved to be full of drama and intrigue at the estate.
The returning cast includes Hugh Bonneville, Elizabeth McGovern, Michelle Dockery, Laura Carmichael, and Jim Carter. Maggie Smith, whose Violet Crawley was revealed to be terminally ill at the end of the first movie, will also make an appearance. New to the cast are Hugh Dancy, Laura Haddock, Nathalie Baye, and Dominic West.
The Oscar-winning Fellowes, the creator and one of the writers of the original series, scripted “A New Era.” “The Art of Racing in the Rain” and “My Week with Marilyn” helmer Simon Curtis is directing.
In an interview last week with People, Fellowes called the installment an “unashamedly feel-good movie” that reflects the societal shifts that occurred later in the 1920s. The series depicted the happenings at the Crawley’s Yorkshire estate from 1912 to 1926, while the first film took place the following year.
“It’s really a new era,” Fellowes said. “The further the ’20s went along, the more the world was changing in so many ways. Everything from entertainment to transport was really different by the end of the ’20s. That’s what we’re referring to in that.”
He said the film will further develop the fact that Lady Mary is “effectively running the show” at the household amid the Dowager Countess’ illness. “We’re trying to mark the change — the fact that Crawleys of Downton are nearly in the 1930s, which is merely the beginning of the modern world,” Fellows said.
The “Downton Abbey” series earned 69 Emmy nominations during its run and won 15: Smith won three acting awards and the show won Outstanding Miniseries of Movie, along with awards for hair, production design, music composition, directing, writing, cinematography, and costumes.
The first film grossed $193.82 million worldwide and received largely positive reviews from critics. In her “B” review for IndieWire, Hanh Nguyen called the movie “a lavish fairy tale fueled by nostalgia” that continued to explore the series-favorite theme of how “a person at every level of society must redefine themselves in a changing world.”
“Downton Abbey: A New Era” was originally planned for release in December. Focus plans to release it in the U.S. on March 18.