Next month, the aristocratic Crawley family and their domestic servants will reunite on the big screen to prepare Highclere Castle for one of the most important moments in their lives: a royal visit from the King and Queen of England. The cinematic DOWNTON ABBEY will unleash more scandal, romance and intrigue — an elevation of the BBC upstairs-downstairs drama.
Earlier this summer, AMC was invited to Highclere Castle in Newbury to meet with the returning cast and tour the grounds. We were greeted by the large, regal staircase fans will recognize from the TV series. In fact, very little has changed at Highclere since we last saw the 6,000-acre estate on screen in 2015. The library, music room and drawing room — where we sat down with a few of the stars — all looked as grand and polished as ever.
“If you’re a ‘Downton’ fan, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed,” Elizabeth McGovern (Cora Crawley, Countess of Grantham) said during a one-on-one interview. “I think that this movie is for you.” McGovern and Laura Carmichael (Lady Edith Crawley) share more about how they felt coming back Downton and how the movie “ups the ante” in the clip below.
DOWNTON ABBEY is set about 18 months after the series finale, and retaining the historical accuracy of the early 20th century was a top priority for the filmmakers. They hired an on-set historical advisor to ensure every detail was correct — from the codes of behavior and etiquette to the set pieces and costumes. “Those details really set it apart from other period dramas I think, because it does feel [like] this sort of authentic world,” Carmichael said.
Both the series and the movie are fictional, but series creator Julian Fellowes, who also wrote the movie, took inspiration from real events to create a believable framework. For example, the sinking of the Titanic (1912) and the decline of British aristocracy (post-World War I) were both featured in the show. Hear more about the film’s historical focus from McGovern and Carmichael in our exclusive interview below.
What likely will excite fans most is that almost all of the cast are returning for DOWNTON ABBEY. Of course, McGovern and Carmichael will reprise their roles, as well as Dame Maggie Smith, Hugh Bonneville and Michelle Dockery. The movie will also introduce a few new faces, including Geraldine James (Queen Mary) and Simon Jones (King George V). If you really want to dive into all things DOWNTON ABBEY, check out our comprehensive guide.
Tickets to DOWNTON ABBEY are on sale now, and you can be one of the first to see the film in Dolby Cinema at AMC. Get tickets to our Fan Event on September 12 at 7pm and get a FREE collectible snow globe at the screening.