It’s a new era for our favourite stately home. Downton Abbey is back and heading on holiday to the French Riviera. The long-awaited sequel hits cinemas on Friday, and ahead of its release, we’re joined by the latest star to join the long-standing cast. British actor Hugh Dancy, known for parts in ‘Ella Enchanted’ and ‘Hannibal’, tells us about adopting the role of Jack Barber, the fictional film’s director.
Broadcast on 26/04/22
We’ll have to wait a little longer for tea-time with the Dowager Countess, Violet Crawley (Maggie Smith). Downton Abbey: A New Era, the sequel to 2019’s Downton Abbey, had its release date shifted by its production and distribution companies Focus Features, Universal Pictures International, and Carnival Films. The film, which was previously attached to a March 18 premiere, got pushed back for over a month in the UK and is now only set to premiere in the US in late May. Much like the previous film and original ITV series, the movie is set to follow a family of aristocrats and their servants as they deal with a turn-of-the-century changing world.
As you may have guessed, the news of the shift in release dates comes amid the rising concern of the new coronavirus variant, Omicron, which puts box office numbers on uncertain grounds. The first film proved to be an immense success that reflected people’s interest in the TV series, with a worldwide gross of almost $200 million against a budget of roughly $20 million. The numbers proved that there’s still plenty of interest in the Crawley family, and Downton Abbey: A New Era is highly anticipated by fans of the historical drama.
This is not the first time Downton Abbey: A New Era has been postponed. Following a long-time tradition of specials from famous British TV series, the movie had an original Christmas 2021 release that was ultimately shifted to March 18 both in the UK and the US. Now, British fans will have to wait a month longer and will only return to Downton on April 29, while American fans will only be able to see the new installment in late spring: the movie only opens in US theaters on May 20.
Even though it’s disappointing, Downton Abbey: A New Era’s release schedule shift doesn’t come as a surprise – other highly anticipated titles have been moved due to Omicron uncertainty, including two Mission: Impossible movies, the Quiet Place spin-off, Morbius, John Wick 4, and others.
Downton Abbey: A New Era will uncover buried secrets from the past of Violet Crawley after she reveals she inherited a villa in the South of France from a mysterious man. Returning cast includes Hugh Bonneville, Elizabeth McGovern, Michelle Dockery, Laura Carmichael, Penelope Wilton, Allen Leech, Joanne Froggatt, Brendan Coyle, Sophie McShera, Lesley Nicol, Jim Carter, Tuppence Middleton, Imelda Staunton, Phyllis Logan, Robert James-Collier, Kevin Doyle, and Harry Hadden-Paton. The new film will also bring a fresh batch of new characters played by Hugh Dancy, Laura Haddock, Nathalie Baye, and Dominic West.
Both Downton films are written by the series creator, Julian Fellowes, who has recently returned to TV with another Historical series, HBO’s The Gilded Age. Downton Abbey: A New Era is directed by three-time Emmy nominee Michael Engler, who also directed the previous movie and several episodes of the hit series.
Downton Abbey: A New Era premieres on April 29 in the UK and on May 20 in the US.
It feels like we’ve been waiting forever, but we’re slowly nearing closer and closer to the release of the brand new Downton Abbey film.
The sequel, titled Downton Abbey: A New Era, is set to be released on 18 March 2022 and ahead of the film’s release, one of the stars has dished some intriguing details – including who new cast members Dominic West, Laura Haddock and Hugh Dancy will be playing.
Speaking to Daily Mail Weekend,Elizabeth McGovernrevealed that Dominic, who will also be joining the cast of The Crown this year, will play a 1920s Hollywood actor who is at Downton to shoot his new movie. White Lines and Guardians of the Galaxy star Laura will play a fellow silent screen star, while Hannibal actor Hugh Dancy will portray the fictional film’s director.
“You see this clash of cultures when Hollywood meets Downton,” the 60-year-old actress, who has been portraying the Countess of Grantham since the series first aired in 2010, said. “[A New Era] is set in 1928, nine months after the first one, when ‘talkies’, as opposed to silent films, were just starting to be made and they’ve got all these Hollywood movie stars and the director of a talking movie staying at the Abbey.”
She continued: “I’ll never forget when I showed up on set for the first time and there was Dominic West as this Hollywood actor with Laura Haddock as a silent screen star and Hugh Dancy as the director. They’re having a blast in this movie, it’s their personas and the humour that they bring to it.”