It's official! The Dowager Countess and the rest of the Downton Abbey gang are returning, and not just for another series but for an actual Downton Abbey movie. Cripes!
We first heard the exciting news when the ITV show's official Facebook page posted this on 13th July, but here's everything else you need to know about the movie.
When does filming start on the Downton Abbey movie?
Michelle Dockery, who plays Lady Mary Crawley, posted a photo on Instagram in September 2018, which reveals that the Downton gang are back on set. Hooray!
In August 2018 while speaking to Zoe Ball, Phyllis Logan, who played housekeeper Mrs Hughes in the series, said they'll be starting filming "any minute".
"I'm still not even convinced that I can speak about it but I can now. We're all going to be reconvened – I'm going to be back in the corset. It's going to be marvellous. We've had a bit of emailage going on."
She added that she can't actually remember the plot of the film, as it was so long ago that the cast and crew were talking about it.
"We've sort of forgotten," she said. "We got shown one night about a hundred years ago. But yes there's a script. We're going into production any minute now."
The Downton Abbey movie release date
Guys! We've got a Downton Abbey movie release date! This is huge news! Hugh Boneville, who plays Robert Crawley in the period drama, tweeted, "2019 #DowntonAbbey".
Next year! But could he be a little more specific next time?
The Downton Abbey movie trailer
Again, sorry to disappoint, but there's no trailer yet. but as soon as we have one, you'll be the first to know about it.
The Downton Abbey movie cast
Right now, we're hoping and praying that all of the original cast will be returning for the big-screen outing, including Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary Crawley, Laura Carmichael as Lady Edith Crawley, Joanne Froggatt as Anna Bates, Hugh Bonneville as Robert Crawley and Elizabeth McGovern as Cora Crawley.
Perhaps more surprising is that Maggie Smith is set to return as Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham, given that she's previously said a movie could be "squeezing it dry" – although she could still be right - we haven't actually seen the film yet...
One person who sadly won't be starring in the movie is lovely Dan Stevens, who played Matthew Crawley. I mean, he did die, but Phyllis Logan was asked on Loose Women if he would appear in some capacity, like a flashback or as a vision.
"He comes back as the ghost of Christmas past," she joked, before the panel suggested he could do a Dallas and appear in the shower. She added, "It was all a horrible nightmare.
"No, sadly, he's still dead."
Also not part of the film is Lily James, who played Lady Rose MacClare.
She recently said: "I'm sadly not [in the film], but I'm so excited for it - I'm going to be front row," she explained, adding that the reason "wasn't schedules".
"My character Rose moved off to New York, so it would be farfetched to bring her back," she explained. "I would have loved to have come back for a scene, but for a movie it can't be like a Christmas special and it needs to be a focused storyline. There was no space for Rose."
If you're a Harry Potter fan (and quite frankly, who isn't?!), you'll be over the moon to hear that on 31st August it was announced that Imelda Staunton aka Professor Umbridge is joining the cast!
Fun fact: Imelda is married to Jim Carter, who plays Downton's Carson!
As well as Imelda, it's been confirmed that Sherlock Holmes' Geraldine James, The Thick Of It's David Haig, The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy's Simon Jones, Sense8's Tuppence Middleton, Peaky Blinders' Kate Phillips, and Goodbye Christopher Robin's Stephen Campbell Moore.
Check back here regularly for more updates on the Downton Abbey movie!
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