The long-rumoured film version of Downton Abbey has been confirmed by Focus Features chairman Peter Kujawski today (July 13).
The original principal cast from the ITV series will return for the project, which will begin production later this summer.
The Downton Abbey movie is a Carnival Films production, with Focus Features and Universal Pictures handling international distribution.
Series creator Julian Fellowes wrote the screenplay and will produce alongside Carnival’s executive chairman Gareth Neame and Liz Trubridge.
Brian Percival (The Book Thief, About a Girl), who directed the series’ pilot, will direct the new film. Nigel Marchant returns to executive produce.
Neame said: “When the television series drew to a close it was our dream to bring the millions of global fans a movie and now, after getting many stars aligned, we are shortly to go into production. Julian’s script charms, thrills and entertains and in Brian Percival’s hands we aim to deliver everything that one would hope for as Downton comes to the big screen”.
News of the project first emmerged last year when NBCUniversal International Studios president Michael Edelstein confirmed it was in development at an event in Singapore.
Downton ran for six seasons between 2010 and 2015, winning three Golden Globes and 15 Primetime Emmys. It first aired on ITV in the UK and PBS in the US.
Other upcoming Focus projects include Lenny Abrahamson’s thriller The Little Stranger, Joel Edgerton’s coming-out drama Boy Erased, Mary, Queen of Scots with Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie, and Spike Lee’s Cannes competition title BlacKkKlansman.
Focus is part of Universal Filmed Entertainment Group (UFEG).