‘Downton Abbey 2’ release date has been delayed!

The release of the second Downton Abbey movie has been pushed back until next year.

The much-anticipated sequel began filming in England in April, with strict Covid safety measures in place.

Based on ITV’s hit period drama series, the first Downton film was a huge hit in 2019, grossing over $237 million worldwide.

It was announced this spring that Downton Abbey 2 would be be arriving in cinemas on Wednesday 22nd December.

However, we can now confirm the sad news that the movie won’t be out in 2021 after all.

Downton Abbey 2 will now be released in US cinemas on Friday 18th March 2022.

This new arrival date is believed to be the same in the UK and internationally.

Filming is still on track to wrap next month, so there haven’t been any production delays as far as we’re aware.

It’s more likely that production company Focus Features are simply keen to avoid releasing the movie during what looks set to be another uncertain period of the coronavirus pandemic this winter.

The news will come as a disappointment to many fans, who were looking forward to the film as a Christmas treat.

Focus Features chairman Peter Kujawski had previously commented: “There’s no place like home for the holidays, and we can’t imagine a better gift than getting to reunite with Julian, Gareth, and the entire Downton family in 2021 to bring the Crawley’s back home for their fans.”

Executive producer Gareth Neame had said: “After a very challenging year with so many of us separated from family and friends, it is a huge comfort to think that better times are ahead and that next Christmas we will be reunited with the much beloved characters of Downton Abbey.”

On the positive side, the delay gives us another three months to binge through every episode of the TV series!

We don’t know much about the second film’s plot yet, but we do know that the “entire” cast will be back.

Directed by the husband of one of the show’s main stars, Downton Abbey 2 will also welcome four brand new characters.

Hannibal actor Hugh Dancy, Laura Haddock (Da Vinci’s Demons), French actress Nathalie Baye (Catch Me If You Can), and Dominic West (The Pursuit of Love) have all joined the cast.

Meanwhile, there are still more than 40 British period drama movies being released in 2021.

Downton Abbey: The Complete Collection box set is available on DVD on Amazon.