Fans highly anticipate the return to Downton to see what preposterous shenanigans the staff and the Crawley family can get into next. The last time viewers saw the Downton Abbey cast together was in the 2019 eponymous film. After several major delays from the COVID-19 pandemic, the latest film entry from one of the most successful period dramas of all time will release in just mere weeks.
Here’s what is known about Downton Abbey: A New Era so far regarding the plot, release date and where to watch the trailers.
What Is the Downton Abbey Story So Far?
Fans last saw the Downton Abbey cast in the 2019 film of the same name. The first film focused on King George V and Queen Mary’s visit to the estate. The royal visit led both the Downton staff and the Crawley family to run around like chickens with their heads cut off to ensure everything was just right. The Downton staff were over the moon to prepare for the royals to arrive but became quickly disappointed when the royal staff took over instead.
Thomas Barrow became the new butler after Carson’s retirement. But Lady Mary believed he wasn’t competent enough to handle such an important event, so she convinced Carson to briefly return. Due to Carson’s return, he and Barrow were at odds over who was in charge. Additionally, neither Mrs. Patmore nor Mrs. Hughes could handle another chef and housekeeper in the house but eventually put their replacements in their places. With the help of Anna and Mr. Bates, the Downton staff concocted a plan to prevent the royal staff from serving the dinner.
Aside from the staff, Tom Branson encountered a mysterious man named Major Chetwode, who later attempted to assassinate the king during a parade. Chetwode believed Tom was on his side because of their shared Irish heritage, but Tom proved him wrong when he tackled him down to prevent the King’s death. Bertie, who suspected Tom was involved in something fishy, was released from his duties for a three-month Africa tour when he discovered Lady Edith’s pregnancy. The film ended when Lady Violet confided in Lady Mary about her terminal illness diagnosis, which left viewers unsure of what the future of Downton held.
What Will Downton Abbey: A New Era Be About?
Downton Abbey: A New Era will focus on Lady Violet’s allegedly scandalous past romantic life and her acquisition of a luxurious French villa. Amid the Crawley family’s newfound discovery of the matriarch’s previous romantic ventures, several new characters will make their grand entrance in the Downton Abbey universe. This includes Law & Order actor Hugh Dancy as Jack Barber, a Hollywood film director who is in charge of film production at Downton. Additionally, Dancy brings two Hollywood actors to help with the film, Dominic West as Guy Dexter and Laura Haddock as Myrna Dalgleish.
Lady Mary, who helps with the film production, is shown having a personal conversation with Mr. Barber, possibly about her marriage to Henry (played by Matthew Goode). Goode stated he would not reprise his role in Downton Abbey: A New Era due to his prior commitment to The Offer, a series surrounding the making of Francis Ford Coppola’s cult classic The Godfather.
Despite Henry’s absence, there is plenty of room for more Downton romances. Viewers saw the relationship between Tom and Lady Bagshaw’s maid Lucy, later revealed to be her daughter, blossom in the first film. The couple was shown at the altar for their wedding in a teaser for Downton Abbey: A New Era. Additionally, Daisy’s last name was changed to Parker on the character list, which hinted at her marriage to Andy between the first and the second films. Furthermore, Barrow was shown in a potentially intimate moment with new character Guy Dexter.
Is There a Trailer For Downton Abbey: A New Era?
An initial one-minute teaser for the film was released in November of 2021, which gave a sneak peek into the plot of Downton Abbey: A New Era.
A two-minute trailer was later released on YouTube on Feb. 15.
Another trailer for Downton Abbey: A New Era was released just two days before the film’s premiere date in theaters. The latest trailer included some of the same scenes as the previous sneak peeks but added to the mystery of Lady Violet’s past romantic life and a possible spark between Lady Mary and Mr. Barber. Lady Violet and Lady Mary have become close confidants following the Dowager’s reveal of her terminal illness diagnosis to exclusively her granddaughter. Although, Lady Mary tested their relationship when she asked her grandmother if she would tell her about a hidden secret — possibly about Lady Violet’s previous lover.
That wasn’t the only romance shown in the latest trailer. After Lady Mary and Mr. Barber were shown having a potentially intimate conversation about marriage in the previous trailer, they were shown again in a theater. Mr. Barber gazed quite affectionately at her. What could this mean for Lady Mary and Henry’s marriage? If that wasn’t enough drama, Lady Edith tearfully revealed she wasn’t ready to leave Downton, leaving viewers confused as to where she would go. Also, the child she was pregnant with at the end of the first film was not shown in the family photo. According to the trailer, fans will need to prepare for an ending that will leave them “breathless.”
What is the Release Date for Downton Abbey: A New Era
Downton Abbey: A New Era will be released on May 20, 2022, in theaters.