Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes opens up about the possibility of continuing the popular series. As many know, Downton Abbey first began as a television series which started airing back in 2010. The hit series followed the story of the aristocratic Crawley family and their staff of servants as they face the changes that are brought on their lives by the beginning of the twentieth century. Downton Abbey ran for six seasons between 2010 and 2015, and was a massive success with both critics and fans, going on to win a total of fifteen Primetime Emmys during its run. After four years off the air, Downton Abbey returned in 2019 with the Downton Abbey movie, and will be coming back to cinemas at the end of this month with the followup film Downton Abbey: A New Era.
While not much is known about the plot of Downton Abbey: A New Era, it has been revealed through trailers that the film will see a film crew turning the titular Crawley house into a movie set, as well as feature a plot about the Dowager Countess’ (Maggie Smith) mysterious past in France. A New Era will also see many fan favorite actors returning to their roles including Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary, Allen Leech as Tom Branson, Penelope Wilton as Isobel and, of course, Hugh Bonneville as Lord Grantham. While the majority of what A New Era has to offer has been kept under wraps by its cast and crew, many have begun to wonder if this may be the end of the franchise. After all, the series was originally announced to end back in 2015, and most of Downton Abbey’s main cast are highly sought-after actors.
In a recent interview with Sky News, Downton Abbey creator Fellowes was asked to comment on whether the series would continue past A New Era. As it turns out, Fellowes feels that the series could go either way at this point. In truth, Fellowes “doesn’t know the answer,” as to whether fans will get more Downton Abbey. With that said, Fellowes is certainly open to the idea of continuing. For him, if both the fans and the Downton Abbey cast want to come back for more, then he’s sure that he will “find a way of delivering more.” Of course, Fellowes has also stated that he doesn’t mind if the series has “run its course.” Fellowes claims that as long as Downton Abbey has “given some enjoyment to people over the years,” then he’s happy. See his full quote below:
“I don’t know the answer [to questions about the future], the truth is if they want more and the cast want to do more, then I’m sure we’ll find a way of delivering more. But I don’t mind if it’s run its course, I think that’s fair enough, too. And if we’ve given some enjoyment to people over the years, then that makes me very happy. I’m a fairly simple soul really.”
Of course, Fellowes’ willingness to let go of Downton Abbey doesn’t come as much of a surprise. Fellowes has been working on the franchise for over a decade, and more recently, he has been deeply involved in creating the series The Gilded Age, which is loosely connected to the world of Downton Abbey. It would come as no surprise if Fellowes simply wanted to work on something else for a while. With that said, Downton Abbey has certainly proved over the years that it has a very loyal and enthusiastic fanbase, and if they want more, Fellowes doesn’t seem to have any problems with delivering.
Ultimately, it seems its up to the fans to decide if they would like to see more Downton Abbey in the future. While some rumors have surfaced following advanced viewings of Downton Abbey: A New Era that the film has a feeling of finality to it, Fellowes does not seem particularly set in his ways one way or the other. After all, the film is called A New Era, not The Final Era. It all depends on if the cast would like to return again, and if the creatives come up with a strong story.