Downton Abbey ending in 2015 after a six-year run, winning numerous awards including six Emmys, three Golden Globes, and three BAFTAs and in 2011 the Guinness Book of Records declared it the most critically acclaimed English Language TV show. An announcement of a film adaptation has been made on the Downton Abbey Twitter account.
Downton Abbey is one of the most popular British shows, with the series being shown in over 220 countries and territories. The show helped turn Hugh Bonneville into a star and gave actors like Lily James and Dan Stevens early major roles.
Show creator Julian Fellows is writing the screenplay and Brian Percival is set to direct. Percival has directed six episodes of the show, including the pilot and outside the show his filmography ranges from gritty kitchen sink dramas (A Boy Called Dad) to lavish historical dramas (The Book Thief). Series regulars Bonneville, Maggie Smith, Joanna Froggatt and Michelle Dockery are all expected to return and Bonneville tweeted ‘2019 #DowntonAbbey’.
Downton Abbey is following in a long tradition of British shows being adapted to film but the results are mixed. The Inbetweeners Movie was a huge hit and many shows have tried to follow in its success, leading to a lot of terrible films. However, Downton Abbey does have some advantages compared to other TV adaptations: it’s setting allowed the show to be cinematic, there are big-name actors already in the cast and the show is popular internationally, especially America and China.
Universal and Focus Features are set to distribute the film.