Downton Abbey to return for prequel

  • Bang Showbiz
  • 13 February 2017
Julian Fellowes

Julian Fellowes

Julian Fellowes has revealed he's planning to pen a 'Downton Abbey' prequel later this year

'Downton Abbey' may return to television screens in the near future.

The popular period drama came to an end two years ago following five successful years on screen because bosses wanted it to bow out on a high, but its writer Julian Fellowes has teased he's planning to pen a prequel and wants a whole new cast.

He told The Sun newspaper: "I think it would be possible to do a prequel that was re-cast and do a sort of a love story so you went right back and had the young cast arriving in the show as footmen and Mrs Patmore being a kitchen maid. It would work if you told everyone's story from 30 years before. You could do that with a different cast."

As well as the prequel, Julian is still hoping that he can round up the old cast - comprised of Michelle Dockery, Dame Maggie Smith, Hugh Bonneville and Jim Carter - so that he can make a successful blockbuster based on the period drama.

He explained to the publication: "I hope there is going to be a film. I would like there to be a film. There are many factors as like all the actors in 'Downton Abbey', we made them famous. Now they have all gone off and they are doing films, theatre or TV series so it will be quite difficult rounding them up."

However, it shouldn't be that hard to get things up and running as a number of the cast members have previously admitted that they'd love for the film to go ahead.

Phyllis Logan, who played Mrs Hughes in the long-running drama, said she didn't take any props from the set when the show finished because she was sure she would need them again for the big-screen adaptation.

She explained: "People ask me if I was tempted to take a wig or that big bunch of keys I carried, but that would be theft, because these things aren't my property.

"Besides, if there's a 'Downton' movie, which I hope will happen, all the props and costumes will be needed. It's like herding cats! We're all so busy and in different countries, but it would be such fun to get together again. The camaraderie on set was extraordinary."

Recently, Jim Carter - who portrayed Mr Carson in the show - revealed that the cast had been asked to clear their diaries to shoot the film later this year.

He said: "We've been asked to keep ourselves available for dates in the future. But nobody has seen a script."

Joanne Froggatt - who portrayed Anna Smith in the period drama for five years - set tongues wagging last year when she revealed that Julian had penned the script for the forthcoming blockbuster.


1. Pat Williams17 Feb 2017, 1:52pm Report

YES!! Best news ever!!

2. Becky Welter19 Feb 2017, 2:06am Report

I cannot wait! I'm watching the series again for the second time this year!! I just love it!! Prequel? Yes!!! Movie!!! Yes!

3. Shirley Dolin Snider19 Feb 2017, 11:25pm Report

OH MY WORD...I am so very happy and excited. You could just write the next generation and continue the family story. Call it...DOWNTON ABBEY...GENERATION ERA. Say thats a great idea and title. I will be awaiting your affirmative reply.

4. Linda Rickabaugh20 Feb 2017, 1:30am Report

Oh yes please! I am so there!

5. Susan Schlegel Scott20 Feb 2017, 3:18am Report

Yes, please! A movie and a prequel series would be awesome. I was so sad when DA ended 2 years ago.

6. Beth Willis20 Feb 2017, 4:09am Report

Please hurry! I've watched the reruns until I can repeat every actors lines and have dreams of Bates and Anna... hurry please before my family commits me for talking Downton Abbey at every meal!!!!

7. Frank Corso20 Feb 2017, 4:32am Report

The last episode of D.A. was incredible! He tied everything up in a red velvet bow and presented it to us as a cherished gift. I'll always be thankful to him for that.

8. Cobert Forever20 Feb 2017, 6:40am Report

I really, really, really want a movie with the original cast! I really don't want a prequel because I don't want to see other actors in the roles of all the characters I love. I love the story of Cora and Robert and I prefer to just live off of stories

9. Judith Stonik20 Feb 2017, 12:57pm Report

I've said this all along that Julian Fellowes should have a prequel when Violet & Isobel were young and do a sequel with George, Mary and Sibby starting in the 1940's. I sure hope the prequel and the movie are going to happen.

10. Patricia Kendall-Vitanza20 Feb 2017, 2:00pm Report

This would be great! I miss Downton so much! Would love to see how they all started!

11. LaNell Schneider20 Feb 2017, 2:43pm Report

I miss Downton Abbey! It made me so excited all week long knowing I would get to see the next episode on Sunday. Please bring it back!

12. Joyce Masciere20 Feb 2017, 3:12pm Report

This is great news. My mind just went crazy thinking of all the great stories that could spin off of this but still stay connected. Thank you Mr. Fellows

13. Tanya Nagaraja20 Feb 2017, 4:20pm Report

I'm dying to see the first meeting of Violet and Prince Kuragin.

14. Kelly Wren20 Feb 2017, 5:19pm Report

This would be the best news this year!! I would absolutely love to see a Downtown Abbey movie!!!😃

15. Annie Green20 Feb 2017, 5:29pm Report

Really excited about Downton Abbey returning. Would love to see a movie also!!

16. Jolynda Wireman20 Feb 2017, 5:49pm Report

Oh, my gosh......I am beyond excited to hear this! Prequel, sequel, movie, whatever. I'll take whatever I can get. I waited all week long for Sunday nights to watch DA and I CAN'T WAIT FOR THIS TO COME TO FRUITION!! I'll just watch my season cd's over and over until this happens! !!!!!

17. Enya Patterson20 Feb 2017, 8:54pm Report

Eagerly anticipating the prequel and the movie! Oh my! So excited about this news!

18. Cathy Toombs20 Feb 2017, 10:09pm Report

This is wonderful to hear. So sad when it was over

19. Chris Julian20 Feb 2017, 11:29pm Report


20. JONI VON VOIGT21 Feb 2017, 12:08am Report

That's awesome! I hated seeing it end!

21. Deborah Sagor21 Feb 2017, 12:20am Report

Would love more Downton Abby. Not sure if it will be the same with a new cast.

22. William Bane21 Feb 2017, 12:45am Report

That would be amazing. I can't remember a series that I enjoyed more or eagerly awaited every week than Downton Abby. I was so grieved when it ended. Yes, they left everyone wanting more, but way too much more! :-)

23. Gale Chalot21 Feb 2017, 12:53am Report

It would be great to see Downtown Abbey to return!!

24. ReNae Crabtree Allen21 Feb 2017, 1:02am Report

I received the DVD box set from my son for Christmas this year! Now I find out there will be a movie! I'm beyond ecstatic!

25. Liz Shaw21 Feb 2017, 1:12am Report

This just made my night!!! YES!! 👍🏼❤👍🏼

26. Barbara Skaarup21 Feb 2017, 2:06am Report


27. Donna Fairhurst21 Feb 2017, 12:26pm Report

I would be so ecstatic if this is all true and comes to fruition!! Miss my Downton Abbey like crazy. There wasn't a better show on TV anywhere!!

28. Sandra Fowler21 Feb 2017, 12:31pm Report

I am beyond excited!!!! Oh my God, I don't think my heart can handle this much excitement!! I am re-watching Donwton Abbey for the 5th time. Yes clearly I am obsessed with it but it's hard not to be with such fine writing, story line and cast of characters. This news is amazing!! Thank you Lord Fellowes for making my year!!!

29. Nancy C21 Feb 2017, 12:37pm Report

I'd love to see a prequel focusing on Robert and Cora's love story - how a young British lord woos a young rich American girl.

30. Beth Cole21 Feb 2017, 2:58pm Report

Am I the only one who read Ms. Logan's comments as if Mrs. Hughes was saying them ? Prequel-sequel .....I want it all !

31. Dan Turko21 Feb 2017, 3:22pm Report

I love the idea of a prequel. Although a history buff and I feel knowledgeable, I leant so many things from Downton Abby from a practical perspective. The show to me would not be the same without the historical nuances. So to learn the period prior, would be fascinating. Will we see the Dowager Countess having the affair in the Winter Palace with the Russian Prince? They could do so much that would be fascinating.

32. Rose Ryan21 Feb 2017, 3:43pm Report


33. Thomas Collens21 Feb 2017, 4:45pm Report

My wife is particularly excited about both projects! We went to Highclere (Downton Abbey) last year & really enjoyed it, especially all the stories about the cast & location. We highly recommend visiting Lord & Lady Carnarvon's home!

34. Renee Stroud21 Feb 2017, 7:38pm Report


35. Rosemary Kelly21 Feb 2017, 9:21pm Report

I do hope this is not just idle talk. What a great thing to continue the story and to have most of the cast available. Looking forward to it.

36. Don Roby21 Feb 2017, 10:17pm Report

Great. I hope both happen

37. Denise Walters22 Feb 2017, 12:31am Report

I have watch this show over 25 times. I absolutely love it. A friend gave me the DVD's and I could not stop watching. Never loved a show like I loved this one. Please do another one!!! You guys are awesome!!!

38. Jeanie Cox22 Feb 2017, 12:39am Report

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE HURRY AND GET THESE PROJECTS GOING! Fans would love both the prequel and a movie...nay several movies 😊

39. Lorna Warren22 Feb 2017, 1:12am Report

I'm thrilled to hear the Downtown news! It just couldn't end.

40. Dolora Hiura22 Feb 2017, 1:47am Report

THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!

41. Angela Bielke22 Feb 2017, 2:10am Report

Yes!!! Bring it back!!!

42. Peter Lacovara22 Feb 2017, 6:12am Report

Stephanie Becham as the young Dowager Countess, please....

43. Darlene Kichler22 Feb 2017, 3:16pm Report

Something wonderful to look forward to!!

44. Nancy Cassidy22 Feb 2017, 4:53pm Report

Yes, please hurry, I am wearing my DVDs out because I keep watching them over and over. Downton Abbey is the very best story as so many people have said. Both please, movie and prequel!!! Thank you, thank you...

45. Wanda Critch22 Feb 2017, 7:23pm Report

I just recently discovered Downton on Netflix!!! Bring it on, I loved it!!!!

46. Georgia Johnson23 Feb 2017, 12:29am Report

I love the idea of a movie.... I watched Downton Abbey all 6 seasons !! Would love to see more !!!!

47. Lisa Martin23 Feb 2017, 2:32am Report

Downton Abbey is amazing.....would love to see more

48. Phyllis Coulter23 Feb 2017, 5:04am Report

Really excited to see more Downton Abby!

49. Crystal Guyer23 Feb 2017, 6:25am Report

I can hardly wait! When the show ended it was as though I'd lost my dearest friends!!!

50. Notta Garber23 Feb 2017, 2:42pm Report

This Virginian couldn't be more excited. I've watched the series over and over again so much I have memorized dialogue...

51. Pamela Gray23 Feb 2017, 3:35pm Report

Can't wait for this! We need something to look forward to each week!

52. Lollie Weeks23 Feb 2017, 3:38pm Report

I'd love to see how Lord & Lady Grantham came to be married and how she adjusted to life as lady of an English manor house.

53. Dee Stebbins23 Feb 2017, 11:00pm Report

This is exciting...I hope it pans that program

54. Sonam Willow24 Feb 2017, 12:54am Report

Yay!! Downton Abbey!! Ah so happy to hear it's on the way back

55. Kristina Chapman24 Feb 2017, 1:12am Report

Great! Can't wait.

56. Jill Franks24 Feb 2017, 2:58am Report

Such great news!!! After all of this is done, I hope they will at least have a Christmas Special every year so we can stay updated on the al the characters' lives!

57. Penny Pritchard24 Feb 2017, 9:38am Report

Loved the show and would love the movie. Hope it happens

58. Judy Beleck24 Feb 2017, 1:23pm Report

Love, love, love the idea of a Downton Abbey prequel and a movie!!! I would be happy with anything that is Downton Abbey!!!

59. Jeri Martin24 Feb 2017, 2:02pm Report

Yes can't wait. Love everything Downton Abbey. Please include Maggie Smith if possible.

60. Darlene Parker25 Feb 2017, 5:20pm Report

Sooo excited to hear this! Miss the series so much!

61. Robin Thompson25 Feb 2017, 7:01pm Report

Please, please please a prequel of DA

62. Pam Rice3 Mar 2017, 12:41pm Report

Yay!! Am so looking forward to a prequel and know it will be a smash hit!! Hope all that are asked to take part does so, so we are able to get back on track with all our favorites!!! Will be waiting !! Missed the cast the moment it was over!! Downton Abbey, welcome back!!! Promises to be a blockbuster success!

63. Connie Miles3 Mar 2017, 1:03pm Report

I have only watched some of the series but both my daughter's love the show. the episode that me any my daughter watched 2 days before she died was the one with a lady dying.

Beth, my sweet daughter in heaven I am going to get our set out and look at all of them You would be so escited. She absolutely loved this era.

Love and miss you so much, love mama

64. Beverly Sterpka Hrovat3 Mar 2017, 3:19pm Report

I'm looking forward for more of your stories.Your program takes me away to another time and place I would have loved to live.

65. Cindy Wilson4 Mar 2017, 7:01pm Report

Whoooppie!!!! Keeping my fingers crossed. Have never enjoyed any show as much as Downton....I definitely want MORE! Hope it comes about.

66. Maria Delgado4 Mar 2017, 9:30pm Report


67. Ann Scott4 Mar 2017, 10:31pm Report

Anything Downton Abbey is ok with me. Looking forward to it.. Movie prequel all good.

68. Laura Cotter5 Mar 2017, 3:41pm Report

He wouldn't have to do this if he had continued a HIGHLY successful series, like many have done here in the US and a few in the UK, of 8,9,10 or more seasons. I doubt anyone wanted it to end.

69. Phillip Morgan7 Mar 2017, 2:20am Report

Great idea overall but a huge mistake to go with a new cast. The story was more than its line, it was the cast that brought the story line to life and to its quality and uniqueness - keep the cast.

70. Bernadette Brookes14 Mar 2017, 5:59pm Report

I would love the film as long as it had original cast in it. Prequel a great idea though. Just got box set recently as my Sundays don't feel right without a bit of the

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