Dame Maggie Smith joins Downton Abbey movie

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Dame Maggie Smith

Dame Maggie Smith

Dame Maggie Smith has reportedly agreed to join the 'Downton Abbey' movie after bosses were given a go-ahead to turn the popular drama into a blockbuster.

Dame Maggie Smith has signed up to the forthcoming big screen adaption of 'Downton Abbey'.

The masterminds behind the popular series have been given the go-ahead to turn the period drama into a blockbuster, and producers have already secured their first cast member.

Speaking to the DailyMail.co.uk, Michael Fox - who portrayed Andy Parker in the series - confirmed that the 81-year-old actress will reprise her role as Violet Crawley.

He added to the publication: "She elevates it to something else, because she is such a legend and a national treasure.

"The film without her would still be good with all the other actors, but it puts a stamp of quality with her in it."

News that Maggie has agreed to appear in the movie version of the ITV series will no doubt come as a shock to fans as she admitted last year that she didn't think she'd be able to as Violet was "too old."

Asked whether she would appear in a movie version of the period drama, she said: "I can't - what age would she be?"

Viewers were thrown into mourning last Christmas when 'Downton...' came to a dramatic end following five years on screen but creator Julian Fellowes has always shared his burning desire to turn the drama into a film one day.

However, the 67-year-old director hinted that he was waiting on vital cast members - believed to be Hugh Bonneville and Michelle Dockery - to free up their schedules for filming.

He said recently: "Let's just say it's not me slowing things down. The difficulty is rounding up the actors. One is in America making a new series, another is in a play ... My lips are sealed! It's very unlikely there won't be a film because there is an audience out there for it. I do hope there is going to be a 'Downton Abbey' film. It's going to be fun once everything is sorted but we just need to restructure it."

It's believed filming for the movie will kick off next year.

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