It’s been more than a decade since Downton Abbey first burst onto our screens.
The acclaimed historical drama, which was filmed on the cusp of Hampshire at Highclere Castle, followed the aristocratic Crawley family and their house staff.
The show ran for six series spread out over five years and had many shocking moments that had viewers screaming at the TV.
After the success of the series, the Downton Abbey movie hit cinema screens worldwide in 2019.
Set in 1927, the movie sees the family and Downton staff prepare for the arrival of King George V and Queen Mary.
The movie was the last time fans got to see the Downton characters until earlier this year. In November pictures from the upcoming movie were released alongside a trailer that teased the return of a character many thought we had seen the last of.
Back in August we told you everything we knew about the movie, however since then more information has been released.
With the Downton Abbey movie premiering on ITV on New Year’s Day we’ve broken down everything we know so far ahead of the release date of the new movie.
Not much was known about the Downton Abbey: A New Era plot until the trailer was released.
However, in the trailer it would appear that the Downton family could be off to the south of France after Dame Maggie Smith’s character Dowager Crawley revealed she had inherited a house out there.
Not much is known about who will be going to France, however it appears the house staff could be travelling alongside the family with popular character Mr Carson saying in the trailer “They better be warned. The British are coming.”
Fans will also be treated to a wedding in the movie with Tom Branson (Allen Leech) and Lucy Smith (Tuppence Middleton), who started a relationship during the first film, seemingly tying the knot.
There is no need to panic about who will be starring in Downton Abbey 2.
In April it was confirmed that the entire cast would be back and will be joined by some new faces.
This means the likes of Hugh Bonneville and Michelle Dockery will be reprising their roles.
Taking to social media, the Downton Abbey team revealed that Hugh Dancy, Laura Haddock, Nathalie Baye and Dominic West would be joining the cast for the second film.
Fans have already caught a glimpse of Laura Haddock’s new character Myrna Dalgleish.
It also remains to be seen how big a role Dame Maggie Smith will play in the movie following the revelation at the end of the first movie that she is battling an illness.
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One thing that will be different from the first movie will be the director.
Michael Engler won’t be returning to direct the sequel movie despite the relative positive reception and success of the first film.
Instead Simon Curtis, who directed the 2017 drama Goodbye Christopher Robin, will be taking on the reins.
Interestingly, the 61-year-old is actually married to Downton star Elizabeth McGovern, who plays Cora Crawley, Countess of Grantham.
The couple, who live together in London, married in 1992 and have two daughters together.
Highclere Castle is expected to feature prominently in the new movie. The house became a national treasure when it became the starring location for the ITV series.
Filming was reportedly underway at the site in April, with film trucks, trailers and a catering marquee set up on the grounds.
The Essex town of Harwich was also a location for filming earlier this year.
It is not known whether the crew actually travelled to France to film the second movie or if filming took place somewhere else.
As with most movie and TV show releases over the last 18 months, the coronavirus pandemic has seen the Downton release date pushed back.
The film was originally scheduled to be released in December of this year, however that will now not be the case.
It has been confirmed that the movie is to be released on March 18 2022.