Carnival Films’ period drama Downton Abbey 2 has begun filming in the UK, and the film will open on December 22, 2021, in the US via Focus Features and in the UK through Universal Pictures International.
Directed by Simon Curtis, the drama began shooting last week, with Dominic West, Hugh Dancy, Laura Haddock and Nathalie Baye all joining the cast. Key original cast will return, including Michelle Dockery, Hugh Bonneville, Maggie Smith, Phyllis Logan and Jim Carter.
Julian Fellowes will write the script for the sequel, having previously created the TV series and written the first film.
Gareth Neame and Liz Trubridge will also return to produce, with Simon Curtis joining to direct. Curtis’ previous films include 2017’s Goodbye Christopher Robin, and 2011’s Oscar-nominated My Week With Marilyn.
Focus Features is producing the film alongside Carnival Films. Focus will distribute in North America and Universal Pictures International handles international. Both Focus and Carnival are owned by NBCUniversal.
“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 next Christmas we will be re-united with the much-beloved characters of Downton Abbey,” said Neame.
The first Downton Abbey film was released in September 2019, opening top of the box office with £5.2m including previews and taking a strong £28.2m across its theatrical run.