With Downton Abbey: A New Era hitting movie theaters in North America and around the world, the natural question arises: will there be a Downton Abbey 3? The sequel to the hit 2019 Downton Abbey movie reunites series creator Julian Fellowes with nearly the entire principal cast. The Downton Abbey movie series continues the globally popular saga of the Crawley family and their servants after 6 hit TV seasons that were broadcast on ITV in the UK and Masterpiece PBS in the United States.
In Downton Abbey: A New Era, Lady Violet, the Dowager Countess (Maggie Smith) reveals that she has inherited a villa in the South of France. As members of the Crawley family travel to the Riviera to investigate Lady Violet’s mysterious past, a film crew comes to shoot a movie at Downton Abbey, which is now overseen by Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery). The glamour and excitement of the movie-within-the-movie mean that the Crawleys’ loyal servants get in on the action as they tend to the film’s stars, Myrna Dalgleish (Laura Haddock) and Guy Dexter (Dominic West). Meanwhile, the movie’s director, Jack Barber (Hugh Dancy) gets close to Lady Mary, who becomes indispensable in making sure his film gets made.
Downton Abbey: A New Era broadens the scope of the saga’s world while successfully juggling over 30 beloved characters and multiple storylines. The sequel also marks seismic changes and new beginnings for the Crawleys, who are on the cusp of entering the “modern world” of the 1930s. Now that Downton Abbey’s “New Era” has begun, will there be another sequel to continue the story? Here’s everything we know.
Will Downton Abbey 3 Happen?
There are currently no plans for Downton Abbey 3. According to Julian Fellowes, whether or not there is another sequel is dependent on how the audience reacts to A New Era and its box office performance. As Fellowes recently told Sky News, “if [audiences] want more and the cast wants to do more, then I’m sure we’ll find a way of delivering more.” Yet Fellowes, who also executive produces The Gilded Age on HBO, claims he’s also content if A New Era ends the Downton Abbey saga: “I don’t mind if it’s run its course, I think that’s fair enough, too.”
How A New Era Sets Up Downton Abbey 3
There are certainly many possibilities for Downton Abbey to continue from how A New Era leaves the story. Although A New Era finally says goodbye to Maggie Smith’s Lady Violet, the Crawleys welcome new members to the family in Tom Branson’s (Allen Leech) new bride, Lucy (Tuppence Middleton). The Bransons also welcomed a new baby. Meanwhile, Thomas Barrow (Robert James-Collier) left his position as Downton’s butler, which means Mr. Carson (Jim Carter) must return to train Andy Parker (Michael C. Fox) to take his place. The 1930s and all the tumult and history of that decade welcome the Crawleys.
Downton Abbey 3 Cast: Who Could Return?
The Downton Abbey cast seems happy to return every few years so it’s likely all of them would be back for Downton Abbey 3. The major exception would, of course, be Maggie Smith, who finally closed the book on the Dowager Countess in A New Era. Meanwhile, Matthew Goode was unable to reprise Mary’s husband Henry Talbot in A New Era but there’s hope he would be back for Downton Abbey 3. Downton’s fans also clamor for Lily James to return as Lady Rose and perhaps she could finally come back in Downton Abbey 3. Every film also features guest stars playing new characters and that would be the case for Downton Abbey 3 as well.
Downton Abbey 3 Predicted Release Date
Downton Abbey’s inaugural film was released in September 2019, almost four years after the TV series wrapped. Downton Abbey: A New Era was originally intended for a Christmas 2021 release, but its North American premiere was pushed back twice, to March 2022 and finally, to May 20, 2022. If it similarly takes two years for another film to be made, it’s reasonable to guess Downton Abbey 3 would release sometime in 2024.