The popular British historical drama Downton Abbey’s movie spinoff is getting a sequel, according to Variety. So far only being referred to as Downton Abbey 2–which may not be the final title–the movie is expected to bring back its predecessor’s cast, and has reportedly already started production last week.
The sequel will be written by Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes, with Simon Curtis (My Week with Marilyn) directing. The series, and both movies, are set in the fictional titular Yorkshire country estate, and through its aristocratic characters and their servants, chronicles events that have an impact on the British social hierarchy.
“After a very challenging year with so many of us separated from family and friends, it is a huge comfort to think that better times are ahead,” said Gareth Neame, whose Carnival Films will co-produce the film. “And, that next Christmas, we will be reunited with the much beloved characters of Downton Abbey.”
The returning marquee cast includes Hugh Bonneville (Paddington, Muppets Most Wanted), Jim Carter (Transformers: The Last Knight, The Good Liar), Michelle Dockery (Hanna, Tuca & Bertie). Elizabeth McGovern (Woman in Gold, War of the Worlds), Hugh Dancy (Hannibal), Laura Haddock (Guardians of the Galaxy), Nathalie Baye (Catch Me if You Can), and Dominic West (The Wire) will be joining for this sequel in, as of this writing, undisclosed roles.
Downton Abbey 2 is due for release on December 22, 2021.