The following excerpts are taken from an article in Vogue magazine by Hayley Maitland about Downtown Abbey: A New Era which opens at The Naro with an early access presentation on May 18th and a full run starting on Friday, May 20th. The full article can be read here.
Who’s in the cast of Downton Abbey: A New Era?
The entire cast of Downton Abbey is returning for the second film, including Maggie Smith as the much-quoted Dowager Countess.
What’s the plot of Downton Abbey: A New Era, in a nutshell?
While the first movie centered around the Downton Abbey residents’ preparations for a visit from King George V and Queen Mary, the second feature is all about cinematic royalty, with the house serving as the backdrop for a film. Other major events shaking up the lives of the Crawleys? Tom Branson’s forthcoming society wedding and Cousin Violet’s surprise inheritance of a French villa.
It’s been a long time coming
The first Downton Abbey film arrived on the big screen in all its sun-drenched, sequin-strewn glory in 2019, four years after Julian Fellowes’s smash-hit period drama concluded. Its sequel was initially expected to be released on December 22, 2021 before being delayed to March 18, 2022 as a result of the pandemic. On January 26, it was pushed back once again in the hopes that audiences will feel more comfortable returning to the cinema en masse in the spring rather than at the tail end of an Omicron-disrupted winter.
The cast is a mix of returning favorites and fresh faces
Thankfully, Hugh Bonneville (Robert Crawley), Elizabeth McGovern (Cora Crawley), Michelle Dockery (Lady Mary Talbot), Laura Carmichael (Edith Pelham), and Jim Carter (Charles Carson) will all be in attendance. So too will Maggie Smith as the Dowager Countess, in spite of the fact that Violet revealed she had a terminal illness at the end of the first film, encouraging Lady Mary to run Downton in her stead. Meanwhile, the new additions will include Laura Haddock, Hugh Dancy, Nathalie Baye, and Dominic West. After making his Highclere Castle debut, the latter will head to Kensington Palace—in November, we’ll see him play Prince Charles alongside Elizabeth Debicki’s Princess Diana in the fifth season of The Crown.
It will be an unashamedly feel-good film
Fellowes said as much during an interview with People in November 2021. “I like the idea that people go into the movie and have a great two hours and then go out to have dinner,” he added. “If we are useful for cheering people up and giving them an easy time of it, that doesn’t bother me.” In terms of further clues as to what fans can expect, he revealed that the film would pick up where the last left off—1927, to be precise—but also look to the future. “It’s really a new era,” he said. “The further the ’20s went along, the more the world was changing in so many ways. Everything from entertainment to transport was really different by the end of the ’20s. As we know from the last film, Mary may not be the titular head of the household, but she is effectively running the show. We take that further. We’re trying to mark the change—the fact that the Crawleys of Downton are nearly in the 1930s, which is merely the beginning of the modern world.”
© 2022 Condé Nast. See full article here.