Filming for this second big-screen adventure of the aristocrats Crawley and their servants will begin next week.
For fans of the cult British series Downton abbey and fans of costume fiction, Christmas will have a special flavor. The second film about the hectic lives of the aristocratic Crawley and their loyal servants will hit theaters for Christmas, Universal announced Monday. The Julian Fellowes saga is customary for these event broadcasts during the holiday season. Like other English soap operas, Downton abbey strictly adhered to the cathodic tradition of a special Christmas episode, usually full of good feelings and resolved heartache, with the exception of that of season 3 which ended with the tragic death of the heir to the estate.
To get to the big screen so quickly, Downton abbey 2 starts shooting next week. “The original cast of the series returns in this sequel“, Promises the press release which lets hope that Maggie Smith, alias the sarcastic matriarch Violet Crawley, will be well in the game. The previous film ended with the grandmother’s confidences to her favorite granddaughter Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery) about her failing health and an illness that didn’t leave her much time to live.
Fairly light, this first part which had brought in nearly 200 million dollars at the box office for a budget of less than 20 million, saw the old generation pass the torch to the new one. And featured the visit, in 1927, of King George V and the Queen of England to Downton Abbey, the home of the Crawley family who went out of their way to organize a ball in honor of the royal family, and in passing foiled an attempted attack and convinced a princess not to divorce.
Nathalie Baye as a confidante of Maggie Smith
No clue on the plot of this second film, orchestrated by the creator of the series Julian Fellowes, has filtered. For this comeback in front of the camera, however, we know that Maggie Smith, Hugh Bonneville, Elizabeth McGovern Michelle Dockery, Laura Carmichael, Allen Leech, Brendan Coyle, Joanne Froggatt will meet new partners: Hugh Dancy, Laura Haddock, Dominic West and Nathalie Baye. The French actress will play a close friend of Lady Violet.
Behind the camera, director Simon Curtis takes over from Michael Engler who had signed several episodes of the series. Author of the remark My Week With Marilyn starring Michelle Williams as a two-time Oscar nominee Marylin Monroe, Simon Curtis is very familiar with the world of Downton abbey since his wife is none other than Elizabeth McGovern who lends her features to the patient and philosopher Cora Crawley, countess of the estate.