“Downton Abbey,” the movie, is going to happen, British media reported Thursday.
The cast and crew have been told that filming will begin in September, England’s The Sun was the first to report, though no official word has been given by the show’s creator.
The PBS “Masterpiece” period drama about the fictional Crawley family of aristocrats and its household staff ended in the United States in March 2016. Talk of turning the monster hit into a movie began even before the sixth and final season ended.
“I’m completely up for a movie,” creator Julian Fellowes told Variety ahead of the finale.
“There are various considerations, which of the cast would be available. That would be a big thing. If we couldn’t get enough of them to do it, it wouldn’t really work. But as far as I’m concerned, I’m completely up for it.”
Executive producer Gareth Neame also told Variety a movie was possible.
“These are all conversations we are having. Julian and I haven’t shied away from saying we would like to do it. The cast would be up for doing it,” Neame said. “But it’s a whole new thing to put together. It’s a whole new beast. It’s a whole way off were it to happen.”
The Sun reported that Fellowes will work again with Carnival Films for the big-screen version.
“Film bosses have requested the services of crew members and accountants to work on the picture,” one source told the Sun.
As talk of a movie ratcheted up this year, Fellowes shared concerns in interviews about whether all the show’s stars would be available for a movie.
Several have publicly expressed interest in a movie version, including Phyllis Logan, who played Mrs Hughes, and Jim Carter, who was Carson the butler.
“I think there is potential for a film. That is something I would wholeheartedly consider, so we will see. It may not be over yet,” Michelle Dockery, who played Lady Mary, told The Telegraph in August.
Maggie Smith, on the other hand, who played the acid-tongued Dowager Countess of Grantham, threw cold water on the idea of a movie last month during an on-stage interview at the British Film Institute.
“They talk about there being a film but who knows. I hope you might tell me if you do know,” she said. “I just think it’s squeezing it dry, do you know what I mean? I don’t know what it could possibly be. It’s too meandering.”
Maybe the movie could begin with the Dowager’s funeral, she suggested.
“I could croak it, and it would just start with the body,” she said.