The long-awaited Downton Abbey film is set to begin filming this autumn.
Rumours surrounding the movie have been going around for over a year now, with a production source announcing in January that “the financing ducks are being lined up very nicely” and a report last month confirming that production will take place at “the end of this year”.
British newspaper The Sun reports today that “shooting [is] earmarked for September.”
A source has said: “Film bosses have requested the services of crew members and accountants to work on the picture. A budget has been set and now it’s a case of getting everything in place to start shooting.”
They added: “It would take something big to stop the project from happening now.”
Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes previously explained the reasons behind the delay: “The thing about Downton is we have a lot of running characters and we really do need them for the movie, so you can imagine at the end of the show they all shot off into shows on Broadway, series in LA, things on television… and they somehow have to gradually be coaxed back into the fold.”
The final episode of Downton Abbey aired on Christmas Day in 2015 on ITV.
Fellowes has claimed that “most of the cast are up for [the movie].”
Dame Maggie Smith has reportedly signed on to return as Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham, and Michelle Dockery, who played Lady Mary, revealed last year that she would “wholeheartedly consider” appearing. Joanne Froggatt (Anna Bates) has said she is “98% per cent sure it will happen”, Penelope Wilton (Isobel Crawley) says “it would be silly not to say yes” and Laura Carmichael (Lady Edith) is also keen to return. Jim Carter, who played Mr Carson, previously let slip that the cast have been asked to keep certain dates clear in their schedule. And last month a PR representative of Jeremy Swift revealed that the Spratt actor is also involved.
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