‘Downton Abbey’ producer explains why they waited so long to make the movie

Nearly four years after the series ended, the Downton Abbey movie arrives this autumn.

The big screen spin-off is set around 18 months after the events of the hit period drama’s final episode, which aired on ITV in December 2015.

Almost the entire main cast of the TV show will be reprising their roles in the movie.

Following years of rumours and speculation, the movie project was finally confirmed last summer and filming began in September 2018.

Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes, who returned to write the film’s script, told EW: “It seemed a nice idea we should come back for a final curtain call.”

Michelle Dockery, who plays Lady Mary, added: “I always felt that there was unfinished business because it felt that people weren’t quite done with it.”

Explaining why there’s been such a long wait after the TV series ended, executive producer Gareth Neame said: “If we’d gone straight into production on the movie, it would’ve been too quick for everyone involved.

“It wouldn’t have felt special. People are really hungry to be reunited with the characters.”

Teasing what to expect when fans return to the Downton Abbey world later this year, director Michael Engler revealed: “Life is settling into these new realities when this event happens at Downton that brings everybody together.

“The story line has expanded the scale of it. It takes the things you love about Downton – the romance, the intrigue, the pageantry – and makes it bigger.”

The Downton Abbey movie will be released in cinemas this September.

Jim Carter, who plays Mr Carson, recently hinted that there’s the possibility of a sequel if the film is a hit.

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