For the love of god, why are they making another ‘Downton Abbey’ movie?

I was a huge fan of the original Downton Abbey series. Americans tended to believe that Downton was some kind of highbrow series, but it was not. It was just a soap opera with Edwardian costumes. There’s part of me which will never, ever forgive Lady Mary for all of the ways she undermined and screwed over her sister Edith, but I digress. As I said, I was a big fan. After the show ended, producers have tried to revive interest in the Downton Abbey universe by making two films, 2019’s Downton Abbey and 2022’s Downton Abbey: A New Era. Both of the movies were absolutely awful! A New Era was one of the stupidest things I’ve ever seen, with the Dowager Countess suddenly inheriting a summer home in the south of France. My god. I don’t think either of the films were financially successful, but maybe they broke even. Or maybe this is all some sort of financial scheme. Well, they’re making a third film! There’s a minor spoiler in this:

Downton Abbey is back! After a successful run from 2010 to 2015, the beloved show had two movie spinoffs: 2019’s Downton Abbey and 2022’s Downton Abbey: A New Era. Now, it’s back again, with a third installation confirmed in May 2024.

The news of the new movie was announced by Focus Features and Carnival Films with a sweet video on Instagram of the cast reuniting on set. Michelle Dockery, who will reprise her role as Lady Mary, shared that the ensemble of actors was thrilled to come back together and work on a new story once again.

According to the official release, much of the main cast will return to the big screen in the third film, including Hugh Bonneville, Elizabeth McGovern, Michelle Dockery, Laura Carmichael, Joely Richardson, Alessandro Nivola, Simon Russell Beale and Arty Froushan. Notably, recent Academy Award nominee Paul Giamatti will also reprise his role as Cora Grantham’s brother, Harold Levinson.

Dominic West will also return to the cast as Guy Dexter, whom he played in the previous installment, Downton Abbey: A New Era. The last installment in the Downton Abbey franchise left off with the death of a beloved character, Lady Violet, whose secret relationship with a Marquis in the South of France was explored by her family. Meanwhile, Lady Mary, Violet’s granddaughter, entertained her own romantic relationships, lamenting the absence of her husband, Henry Talbot, and starting an affair with the director Jack Barber, who is filming a movie in her home.

[From People]

Lady Mary didn’t really start an affair with Jack Barber (played by Hugh Dancy) but they did flirt and he was up for it. Probably because he doesn’t realize that she’s Black Widow Crawley, the bajingo of doom. Speaking of, A New Era was set in 1928, meaning from the start of the series to the last movie, we’ve only covered 16 years. George, the heir of Downton, was born in 1921. Will the third film see the Crawleys finally enter the 1930s and all of those complications? Probably not, that would ruin how low-stakes this soap opera really is. Anyway, I can’t believe that so many actors are refusing to just let these stories end with dignity. Bridget Jones is another one, I cannot believe they’re making another Bridget Jones movie.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Instar.

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42 Responses to “For the love of god, why are they making another ‘Downton Abbey’ movie?”

  1. JackieJacks says:

    Downton Abbey is the equivalent of a cozy afternoon indoors with sweat pants and a warm drink. I’m definitely here for the third movie! It’s comfort food at this point. 😂😂😂😂

    • Danbury says:

      Exactly! I will watch it at home and complain and love every second of it

    • BayTampaBay says:

      “My god. I don’t think either of the films were financially successful,”

      Both films made a ton of money worldwide with worldwide being the operative word. This is all about money. As long as people buy tickets, more films will be made.

      Tom & Lorenzo (aka TLo) said the second film should have been titled: Downton Abbey: A New Grab for Money.

      Which each film, the major players (Lady Mary, Lord Grantham, Lady Grantham, Carson…Hughes …etc…) can ask for more money to return for the next movie. This payday allows the major players to take on better roles which may not pay as much.

      The second film, Downton Abbey: A New Era and was directed by Simon Curtis who just happens to be the husband of Elizabeth McGovern (aka Lady Cora Grantham).

      Compared to most of the film slosh and slop out there, I have no problem with Downton Abbey movies and enjoyed the first two more than I though I would.

    • Bettyrose says:

      Right? I’m gonna watch the shizz outta this.

    • WithTheAmerican says:

      I’m “down” for this.

  2. Concern Fae says:

    The films were huge hits! First one had a budget of $20 million and made nearly $200. Second earned over $90M on a $40M budget. Older folks are the most reliable in theater audience these days. Both films played at my little neighborhood theater for months. I bet they cleaned up on home video, too. What better birthday, Christmas, or Mother’s Day present?

    The series was ridiculous and the films even more so. I got completely fed up by the fantasy of the Earl who is stuffy but comes around to what would have been at the time radical views when gently scolded by his wife and daughters. He pays no price this scandalous behavior among his social set. But yeah, I did eventually watch it all, usually during bad weather on a PBS marathon, knitting and mumbling to myself.

  3. Pearl says:

    I love these pictures. It’s like visiting with old friends. I’m sad this is the last one!

  4. Chantale says:

    I must admit I am no longer into these shows because of the royal family. I used to love Downton. I will no longer watch show that glorifies these people anymore.

    • Agnes says:

      Same. The BRF destroyed my mild Anglophilia completely. I watched one episode of Downton once and thank God I had my knitting to keep me entertained cuz YAWN. EXCEPT for Maggie Smith, I could have watched hours of her, gladly.

    • tealily says:

      The royal family and their atrocities have existed a lot longer than this show. Enjoy your entertainment.

  5. Carrie says:

    It’s kinda like Sex and The City. Enjoyable series. First movie okay, second movie a turd.

  6. Duchess of Corolla says:

    Escapism at it’s finest. I’m there.

  7. Murphy says:

    Affluent Boomers LOVE Downton, and their mother ship, Viking Cruise Line loves to advertise to them via Downton.

    The point that they, as a demographic, still go to the theatre is a great one. The second movie may have had a dumb story line but the shots were gorgeous, the location in France was solely to provide eye candy. Thus I’m guessing they won’t go past the roaring 20’s in this one, they’ll probably explore the end of the 20’s glory days in New York/Newport (since the brother is involved)

    • Raspin says:

      My parents did a Viking Cruise a few years ago where one of the excursions was a visit to Downton Abbey. They loved it.

  8. Becks1 says:

    I never got into the series – and I’ve tried, oh, I’ve tried. I think I’ve started it 4 times at this point. Each time I get a few episodes farther in and then I just think “oh this is stupid” and stop watching, lol. And I usually love upstairs/downstairs types of movies/shows. But this show just never clicked for me despite my valiant efforts, lol.

    I did kind of want to watch the movies though. Maybe I’ll try the first one this weekend.

  9. Drea says:

    Disagree on them not dealing with the 30’s. They did WW1 and the Spanish flu, they’ll either ignore fascism and the crash/Great Depression completely, or they’ll touch on it ever so lightly like Fellowes has been doing with the gilded age (union busting, Jim Crow stuff, etc. ).

  10. MaryContrary says:

    I will happily eat my popcorn and enjoy another go around Downton. Love the settings and costumes. Who cares that the story lines are silly in the movies? Give me this over things blowing up.

  11. Bella says:

    Love Downton Abbey and will definitely go to the movies and watch it!

  12. Chlo says:

    I am here for this!!

  13. NessaB says:

    Say what you want, I loved the show and all the films so far, and I am so here for it. Also the show spent a ton of time in the war with Downton turned into a hospital so I’m not sure your take on this is accurate. Bring it ON!! Also lol at Lady Mary’s Chocha of Destiny.

  14. tealily says:

    I was about to say that I don’t think I watched the movies, but then I had a recollection of putting one on, thinking I hadn’t seen it yet and realizing I had. So I guess that’s what I think about them. Utterly forgettable. I really enjoyed the series, but I think we’ve all moved on.

  15. Dee says:

    I was hoping Thomas Barrow would win the whole estate in a card game with Lord Grantham, kick the old family out and throw big parties, ala The Great Gatsby.

  16. blue says:

    It won’t be the same without the acidity of granny Violet!

  17. Newt says:

    Loved, loved, loved the DA series! I watched the entire series with my mother during Covid and not long before she passed and she loved it as well, so it will always hold a special place for me. I agree completely about the movies…they weren’t great. I always wondered why they stopped the series when it was – by all accounts – still very popular. Maybe some – or most – of the cast was ready to move on?

    I’ll still watch the 3rd movie, but I bet it will be as absurd as the first 2. I just probably won’t PAY to watch it this time and wait until it comes out on a streamer I currently pay for.

  18. Lemons says:

    I will be sure to catch this on my next long haul flight 😂

  19. QuiteContrary says:

    Are there no new ideas in white, middle- and upper-class England?

    I mean, movies such as “Rye Lane” show London to be diverse and interesting, but I’m trying to find an equivalent among new movies featuring mostly white Brits. (“Scrapper” is about a working-class kid.)

    • Innie says:

      Yes? Fleabag was great and the creative was Phoebe Waller-Bridge, who is as posh as they get. Films are expensive, so there aren’t as many, but there are films as well. Saltburn, Charlotte Wells’ Aftersun, Joanna Hogg’s films, especially The Souvenir, Francis Lee’s God’s Own Country and Ammonite, etc. They don’t make money like Downton, though.

  20. therese says:

    And could I say that the New Era movie had the most horrific sound track? If that alone didn’t signal to anyone to stay away from the rest of the movie. I always go back and visit Gosford Park when I need a fix.

  21. Cidee says:

    HURRAH! I would rejoice if they had a new Downton Abbey every season. It washes over me like a warm, lavender scented blanket.

  22. Flamingo says:

    The last movie was PERFECT, perfect I say. This feels like another Godfather III cash grab. And since they can’t have one ICONIC character. Unless they have her in some flashback. Or the movie takes place before that scene. And if they do that, go way back and bring back Dan Stevens as Matthew. I am still not over his character’s death.

    This movie is pointless, and you can’t replace Granny.

  23. Lisa says:

    the way I remember it Edith wrote to the turkish embassy about pemuk’s death and could have ruined all of them. I would have been mean to her forever.

  24. bettyrose says:

    Does anyone else think the header pic is Dita von Teese every time you scroll past?

  25. martha says:

    Since Cora’s brother Harry is showing up, I’m guessing we may be in the Stock Market Crash leading into Depression era!

    Has Robert, Lord Grantham, made more boneheaded moves and lost all their money? Did Mary (and whatever the hell her second husband’s name is) lose the family money? What about Lady Edith’s finances and castle? Is Harry still good financially and gonna bail them out?

    OR – Has Harry lost all his – and others’ – money and fled his creditors? Will Downtown be his hideout?

    OR – Will we jump all the way to the eve of WWll? Will George become a fighter pilot and bite the dust? Who’s next-in-line to grab Downton Abbey?

    What’s happening downstairs? Has Daisy put out a cookbook and become the toast of high society? Will the broke-ass Crawleys let her set up business from the manor and use their name? Will she save Downton Abbey???

    There’s more story! Pretty scenes, pretty clothes, pretty people. Petty problems! Julian Fellowes soap-soap-soap!

    PS – The movies are god-awful, but I’ll take what I can get!

  26. BW says:

    There’s a serial killer in town! Nobody knows who’s murdering all the rich successful men. Stay tuned for:

    Downtown Abbey 3: Bajingo of Doom

  27. MoonTheLoon says:

    It’s called contractual obligations. It’s not uncommon for a popular TV franchise like Downton to have a 3 film contract out on it. As the series still has some popularity, they’re gonna ride that pony home. It’s quite literally as simple as that.

  28. Freddy says:

    Sorry Kaiser, but if the 2 previous Downton Abbey movies had not been financially successful, there wouldn’t be a third…..

  29. Sarah says:

    The third movie wasn’t very successful. It was a silly soap that often made no sense with unbelievable premises that had English accents and nice dresses in huge houses that made it escapist. A mean girl that should have been slapped. The Queen would have punched Mary and Edith should have. This will be the last movie but they will need more money in 15 or 20 years and the series will come back. The girl’s father leaving Matthew all the money because he couldn’t bear the dump his daughter although she knew he was in love with Mary. My daughter dies unhappy because some idiot proposes and she dies following him let’s make him rich.

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