Downton Abbey movie: prequel script in the works

Downton Abbey movie: prequel script in the works

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Speculation about a Downton Abbey movie has not been in short supply since the series finally came to a close on television screens. It’s been pretty much a certainty, in fact, with some official confirmation coming a couple of months back.

Back in May, we heard that the Downton Abbey film is a go, and that production on the movie will get underway in September. Carnival Films is set to produce the film, and Julian Fellowes – the Oscar-winning creator and writer of the TV show – is writing the screenplay for the movie version too.

However, today there’s a bit of a wrinkle on that news: Fellowes has begun work on a different script, just in case the original cast can’t be brought back together for the movie.

“I think it would be possible to do a prequel that was re-cast and do a love story”, Fellowed told The Mirror, “so you went right back and had the young cast arriving in the show as footmen and Mrs Patmore being a kitchen maid”.

Work on that script has apparently already started, as something of a plan B, to be deployed if the plans to reunite the original cast for a sequel movie fall through.

“I hope there will be a film”, Fellowes is also quoted as saying. “It will be sad if we don’t do one. Most films are a punt and we have a solid audience waiting for it. The difficulty is rounding up the actors who have now gone off to the four corners of the earth, in Hollywood, on Broadway, doing plays, doing series and so on.”

This alternate idea – a thirty years earlier prequel story – could be the way to avoid that problem. Of course, we’ll keep you posted as more news comes to light.

If production does manage to kick off this autumn, we expect the film – in whatever shape it ends up taking – to reach cinemas in 2018.