Downton Abbey star Hugh Bonneville reveals one obstacle standing in the way of the movie sequel

A new Downton Abbey movie isn’t far away...

Hugh Bonneville as the Earl of Grantham in Downton Abbey
(Image credit: PictureLux / The Hollywood Archive / Alamy Stock Photo)

Ever since Downton Abbey fans heard there was going to be a movie sequel, they couldn’t wait to be re-immersed in the dramatic lives of the aristocratic Crawley family. 

Sweeping audiences back in time to the 1920s, the Downton Abbey movie was everything we hoped it would be - uplifting, dramatic, romantic, and funny all in one heartwarming tale. If there’s ever been a time for a Downton Abbey movie sequel it’s now - and thankfully it seems one is definitely on the way. Recent reports have even suggested that there are plans for a Christmas 2021 release and for filming to begin this summer, restrictions allowing. 

Whilst we can’t help keeping our fingers crossed for this to be true, there is certainly one major obstacle standing in the way. As part of the government’s roadmap out of lockdown, restrictions have now eased and will continue to do so over the coming months. 

However, Hugh Bonneville, who plays patriarch the Earl of Grantham in the show and film has opened up about the impact of Covid-19 upon production and how the cast and team needed to get a vaccine before filming could get underway. 

When will the Downton Abbey movie start filming?

Speaking to Zoe Ball on her BBC Radio 2 breakfast show last month, Hugh Bonneville opened up about one particular obstacle to filming. He stated: "Here's the deal, if everybody who is offered a vaccine takes a vaccine, we can make a movie, we will make a movie.

"It's the usual thing. The planets are circling. They are beginning to get into alignment. There is a thing called coronavirus knocking around and until that is under control in a sensible way, we are not going to be able to get all those ducks in a row. Mixing my metaphors here. But there is certainly the intention to do it,” the Downton Abbey actor explained. 

Hugh also went on to discuss not only how much the cast is keen to do the Downton Abbey movie sequel, but also how much he thinks it could give fans an uplift after the challenges posed by the pandemic.

"We would love to do it, we are desperate to do it, and I think it's the sort of pleasurable release of a movie like the first one was, that audiences would enjoy after all of this mess we have been through."

Is there already a Downton Abbey movie sequel script?

And it seems that fellow cast-member Jim Carter, who plays butler Carson, is just as excited for a Downton Abbey movie sequel.

He shared the fact that he’d read the script with This Morning hosts Holly Willoughby and Philip Schofield last year, saying: "The script for a second film is there, we've seen it, it's very funny, and it's got all the same characters in it, all the regular characters."

More recently Jim also told the hosting duo during an episode of This Morning that they were “hopeful” that they’ll start filming “soon”. 

"I'd love to tell you when we'll start filming but with the virus and travel restrictions and work restrictions, we haven't got a 100% green light yet,” he revealed. 

Until then, we'll just have to enjoy watching Downton Abbey all over again!

Emma Shacklock

Emma is a Royal Editor with eight years experience working in publishing. Her specialist areas include the British Royal Family, ranging from protocol to outfits. Alongside putting her royal knowledge to good use, Emma knows all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV and more. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, Emma enjoys cooking, long walks and watching yet more crime dramas!