Downton Abbey sequel release delayed to 2022

Downton sequel delayed

The Downton Abbey sequel has been pushed back to March 2022.

Production on a follow-up to the hit 2019 film, based on the period drama TV series, began in April and the movie was originally slated for a Christmas release.

However, the movie - which wraps production next month - will now be released internationally on March 18 instead of Dec. 22 as planned.

The original cast, including stars such as Hugh Bonneville, Michelle Dockery, Imelda Staunton and Dame Maggie Smith, will all return for the flick.

In addition, Dominic West, Hugh Dancy, Laura Haddock and Nathalie Baye have boarded the project.

Focus Features are producing the film along with Gareth Neame's Carnival Films with Simon Curtis directing. Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes has once again written the screenplay and is producing with Gareth and Liz Trubridge.

Neame said: "After a very challenging year with so many of us separated from family and friends, it is a huge comfort to think that better times are ahead and that we will be reunited with the much beloved characters of Downton Abbey."

The original Downton Abbey movie was praised by fans and critics alike and Dockery previously confessed that the reception had "exceeded expectations."

The actress, who stars as Lady Mary, said: "We were thrilled and, like with any show you're a part of, you just never know what the appetite will be out there.

"Of course, people were wanting it to happen and willing it to happen, so we did it.

"But you never know how it's going to turn out. However, it exceeded our expectations. It was thrilling to see it happen."

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