The holidays are a time for reconnecting with friends and family — so what better time for everyone to return to Downton Abbey and celebrate seeing the Grantham family once more? The first teaser trailer for the Downton Abbey movie was released on Friday, and the famed home’s staff are more than ready to welcome fans back through the doors once more.
While Downton fans might have to wait until September 2019 to see Lord and Lady Grantham on the big screen, they did get a gift for the holiday season with a very quick teaser of what to expect when Downton Abbey moves to the big screen. In the clip, the camera pans through the various rooms of the iconic, stately home, while members of staff make beds, open windows, and prepare for the return of everyone’s favorite aristocratic family. The teaser is also filled with gorgeous, panoramic views of Highclere Castle, and the streets surrounding the estate, as that unforgettable theme song kicks in to really bring fans back to Downton once more.
Of course, the teaser doesn’t offer a lot of insight as tocwhat audiences can expect from the big-screen adaptation of Downton Abbey — though it does tease that a longer trailer is "coming soon" — but it does list off several of the show’s most beloved characters at the end, including the newly-married Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery) and Lady Edith (Laura Carmichael).
Having all of those characters back on screen once more was important to the show’s creator and writer, Julian Fellowes, who told the BBC in September that it took a lot of work in order to ensure that everyone could make an appearance in the Downton Abbey movie. "I had to make sure every story of every character was completed within the movie," he said. "That did take a certain amount jiggery-pokery, but I am pleased with where we came to and very pleased with the reassembled cast."
But all that work was more than worth it. "I was at Highclere [Castle, where the TV series was shot] on Friday and there was something almost surreal seeing [the cast] back in their costumes," Fellowes recounted at the time about stopping by the film’s set. "There was something of a reunion like the first day back at school… a very happy school!"
However, not everyone was able to attend the "reunion": In July, shortly after the Downton Abbey movie was confirmed, Lily James — who played Lady Rose MacClare on the period drama — told People that there was "no space" for her character to return to the fold.
"My character Rose moved off to New York, so it would be farfetched to bring her back," James explained, referencing her character’s marriage to Atticus Aldridge (Matt Barber) at the end of Season 5. "I would have loved to have come back for a scene, but for a movie it can’t be like a Christmas special and it needs to be a focused storyline," James said, noting, "There was no space for Rose."
Though Rose might not be back for the Downton Abbey movie, some fans have been hoping that another beloved character might return, Matthew Crawley, as played by Dan Stevens. Of course, Matthew was a fan-favorite up until his tragic death in the Season 3 Christmas special. And while Stevens hasn’t confirmed that he will don Matthew’s posh ensembles once more, he did tease fans about a possible return back in August.
Considering that Fellowes has hinted about the possibility of a Downton Abbey prequel in the past, that idea of Matthew appearing in flashbacks doesn’t seem completely out of the ordinary. However, the teaser’s use of Mary and Edith’s married names and titles, as well as the presence of several characters who joined the cast later in the series seems to indicated that the Downton Abbey movie will pick up where the show left off, so that fans can once again escape to the charming, drama-filled world of 1920s England.
Clearly, you can go home again — but in this case, we’ll have to wait until September to return to this specific stately home once more.
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