‘Downton Abbey’ Trailer: The Times Are Changing, and Maybe the Crawley Family Will, Too

The beloved series returns, and some concerns simply haven't abated (like: should we leave our beautiful British estate before or after the King and Queen come to visit?).
4127_D031_00073_RMichelle Dockery stars as Lady Mary Talbot and Matthew Goode as Henry Talbot in DOWNTON ABBEY, a Focus Features release.Credit: Jaap Buitendijk / Focus Features
"Downton Abbey"
Jaap Buitendijk

After a successful small screen run, beloved period series “Downton Abbey” is gearing up for the inevitable: a full-length film followup that unites the majority of the show’s ensemble cast and thrusts them inside a still-changing world. After first screening at CinemaCon back in March — where much of its under-wraps plot was revealed — the first full trailer for Michael Engler’s “Downton Abbey” is now available for tasteful, refined viewing.

Picking up in 1927 (over a year after the endpoint of the series), the film’s trailer hints early on that the world is evolving, and so is the Crawley family. The trailer even kicks off with Lord Grantham (Hugh Bonneville) joking to some visitors that they’ve got “no maid, no nanny, no valet. It’s 1927 and we are modern folk.”

But when news comes that the king and queen are set to visit the estate, including two royal meals and a parade through the nearby town, everyone is suddenly thrust back into the old ways. That includes Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery), who is apparently tasked with prepping the family and the estate for the visit, a challenge that sends her to the only man who could really help: beloved butler Carson (a returning Jim Carter), who she requests return to Downton to assist.

Still, the Crawley family’s constant worry — should they leave the sprawling, pricey, and perhaps outdated estate? — looms large over the festivities, as both Lady Mary and her sister Lady Edith (Laura Carmichael) appear to grapple with plans to depart. Can a royal visit change that?

The new film will bring back nearly all of the series’ ensemble cast. Actors set to appear in the film include Bonneville, Carmichael, Dockery, Joanne Froggatt, Matthew Goode, Allen Leech, Elizabeth McGovern, and Maggie Smith. New cast members include Imelda Staunton, Geraldine James, Simon Jones, David Haig, Tuppence Middleton, Kate Phillips, and Stephen Campbell Moore.

The series originally aired for six seasons on ITV in the United Kingdom and on PBS in the United States. Series creator Julian Fellowes has long wanted to turn the series into a feature film, and he wrote the script for the movie. Fellowes will be on hand for a Twitter Q&A this morning, and fans can reach out to chat at @DowntonAbbey.

Check out the latest trailer for “Downton Abbey” below.

Universal Pictures and Focus Features will release “Downton Abbey” on September 20.

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