‘Downton Abbey 2’ Release Date Delayed Until 2022: What We Know About the Movie So Far

Downton Abbey fans won’t be spending Christmas with the Crawleys. The release date for the much-anticipated sequel to the hit 2019 film has been delayed until 2022. 

‘Downton Abbey’ movie sequel hits theaters March 18, 2022 

RELATED: ‘Downton Abbey 2’: Will Maggie Smith Return as the Dowager Countess?

Originally, the Downton Abbey sequel was supposed to hit theaters on Dec. 22, 2021. But Focus Features has moved the release date to March 18, 2022, Variety reported. 

Production on the movie will wrap up this month. Simon Curtis is directing the film and Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes is writing the screenplay. 

‘Downton Abbey’ cast: Familiar faces return for the film 

Michelle Dockery wearing a cloche hat on the set of 'Downton Abbey' in 2015
Michelle Dockery seen on the Downton Abbey set on June 11, 2015 in Wiltshire, England | MWE/GC Images

RELATED: ‘Downton Abbey’: Dan Stevens Can’t Believe People Are Still Asking Him If He’ll Play Matthew Crawley Again

The Downton Abbey movie was a follow-up to the highly successful TV series of the same name. Most of the original cast returned for the 2019 film, including Maggie Smith as Violet Crawley, the Dowager Countess of Grantham; Hugh Bonneville as Robert Crawley, the Earl of Grantham; and Elizabeth McGovern as Cora Crawley, the Countess of Grantham.

Smith, Bonneville, and McGovern will all appear in Downton Abbey 2. Smith’s return is especially welcome news for fans of the franchise, as the end of the 2019 movie hinted that her character might not survive for a sequel.  Jim Carter (Mr. Carson), Joanne Froggatt (Anna Bates), Brendan Coyle (John Bates), Michelle Dockery (Lady Mary), and Laura Carmichael (Lady Edith) will all be back as well. A behind-the-scenes photo shared by the official Downton Abbey Twitter account also appears to show Kevin Doyle (Joseph Mosely) and Robert James-Collier (Thomas Barrow) sitting at a table in the servants’ kitchen. 

An April 2021 Instagram post from Allen Leech, who played Tom Branson, confirmed his involvement in the sequel. “Holy sh*t, they’re making another Downt… no, nope, stop it, don’t get caught up in the hype, you knew this, it is not new information, it’s why you moved the family to London…,” the actor wrote. 

Hugh Dancy, Dominic West to appear in new ‘Downton Abbey’ movie  

View of Highclere Castle, the setting for 'Downton Abbey'
Highclere Castle, the set of Downton Abbey | NIKLAS HALLE’N/AFP via Getty Images

In addition to the returning cast, the new Downton movie will also feature some fresh faces. Hugh Dancy, Laura Haddock, Nathalie Baye, and Dominic West are all confirmed to appear in the film. There’s no official word yet on what characters the new cast members will play. However, the Daily Mail has reported that Baye will play an old friend of the Dowager Countess from France. 

Tuppence Middleton, who played Lucy Smith in the first movie, also confirmed on Twitter that she’d appear in the sequel. Lucy was a new character introduced for the film as a potential love interest for the widowed Tom Branson.  

The first Downton Abbey movie focused on the royal family’s visit to the Crawley family’s estate. Plot details for the sequel are being kept under wraps.

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