Maggie Smith joins starry cast of Brits in charming new Christmas movie

Downton fans are in for a treat next Christmas!

It was announced this week that Downton Abbey star Dame Maggie Smith has been added to the cast of A Boy Called Christmas.

Based on Matt Haig’s children’s book, the movie is being directed by Oscar nominee Gil Kenan (Monster House) from a script by Ol Parker (The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again).

A Boy Called Christmas has begun filming and will shoot in Lapland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and London.

There are five books in Haig’s series, so hopefully this will become an annual treat for many years to come.

The cast also includes Sally Hawkins (Paddington), Jim Broadbent (Bridget Jones), Toby Jones (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy), Zoe Colletti (Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark), Kristen Wiig (Bridesmaids), Michiel Huisman (The Haunting of Hill House), Henry Lawfull (Les Miserables), Rune Temte (Captain Marvel) and Indica Watson (Sherlock).

The story follows an ordinary boy called Nikolas who sets out on a wild adventure into the snowy north in search of his father, who is on a quest of his own to discover the fabled village of the elves, Elfhelm.

With the headstrong reindeer called Blitzen and a loyal pet mouse, Nikolas soon meets his destiny in this story that proves nothing is impossible.

Maggie Smith reprises her role as Violet in the Downton Abbey movie when it’s finally released this autumn.

A Boy Called Christmas will arrive in cinemas in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, France and China at the end of 2020.

It’ll premiere on Netflix in the USA and the rest of the world.

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