It seemed that with the Covid19 pandemic was coming to some kind of end, and movie release schedules were becoming more certain. Alas, this may not be the case. It seems that some movies are still not immune from dreaded forced postponement. It was revealed today that the long awaited Downton Abbey 2 will now not be gracing us with its presence until Spring next year, much to the disappointment of fans.
While it was originally scheduled for release on December 18th, it appears that the sequel will not be arriving in theaters until March 18th, 2022 after officially sliding the date back. Fans were given a glimpse of filming in stills released from the production last month, but despite the shoot being in full swing it is now, not going to be a merry Christmas for Downton Abbey lovers everywhere.
The highly anticipated follow-up, Downton Abbey 2 features a majority of returning cast members from the first film, including Michelle Dockery as Mary Talbot, Matthew Goode as Henry Talbot, Maggie Smith as Violet Crawley (Dowager Countess of Grantham), and Hugh Bonneville as Robert Crawley (Earl of Grantham). In addition the sequel also brings in new arrivals, Hugh Dancy (Hannibal), Laura Haddock (Guardians of the Galaxy), Nathalie Baye (Catch Me If You Can), and Dominic West (The Wire) into the very British estate and the life of its residents.
The first Downton Abbey movie was a huge success, with a $31 million domestic opening weekend when it was released in 2019, four years after the end of the TV series on which it was based. Following the lives of the Crawley family, the film continued the high tension ups and downs of the household that made the series such a hit. After reigniting fan’s love of the posh estate owners and their servants, a sequel was quickly put into production, but after being stalled along with most of the film industry during 2020, filming was only able to commence a few weeks ago.
The rearranged release date means that the movie will now be going up against Lionsgate’s The Unbreakable Boy, and will come just one week before Marvel’s Doctor Strange in The Multiverse of Madness arrives. However, the older fan base of the series will no doubt go a long way to making sure that Downton Abbey continues to reign supreme when it finally arrives. With a wealth of delayed and rescheduled movies coming out over the next year, there are not many clear dates available for a movie to release and not have any competition. If Downton Abbey 2 had been released as originally intended, it would have found itself up against The Matrix 4 and The Kings Man, so possibly the change of date will end up as a good thing.
Written by Julian Fellowes, the creator and writer of the series and first movie, and directed by Simon Curtis, there is little known about what story will be told this time around, but with the time periods constantly moving we can expect to see the film taking place a few years after the last movie. While it is unlikely we will see the Crawley’s returning to the small screen, if the new movie pulls in the new $200 million gross, that the first film managed, then this may not be the last time we see them on the big screen.