Julian Fellowes Dishes on the Future of Downton Abbey After New Movie

Julian Fellowes discussed whether he would reunite the Downton Abbey cast for a third movie and addressed rumors of a Gilded Age crossover.

By Cydney Contreras May 18, 2022 8:39 PMTags
Watch: Lily James Talks "Downton Abbey" Movie

Julian Fellowes has big plans in store for Downton Abbey's Lady Mary—or shall we just say Mary?

Focus Features just released Downton Abbey: A New Era, but the writer behind the beloved franchise is already thinking of the future, telling The Hollywood Reporter, "As long as there's an audience, there's certainly something to say."

There's no word yet on a third installment of the film—"only the gods know," Fellowes remarked—but if given the choice, he'd want to explore what happens to Mary (Michelle Dockery).

In fact, Fellowes planted the seeds for a new chapter in Mary's movie storyline. "We see her mature and turn into someone who is aware of her responsibilities," Fellowes said. "In this film, what I hope people see, is that she is going to be able to make the adjustments as the 20th century gather steam in a way that her father would have difficulty with."

This is evident in Mary's decision to get rid of the formalities and just go by her first name. "That's a very 20th century thing to do," the writer explained. "[Mary's father] would not say, 'Robert, please.' No!"

Downton Abbey Cast: Then and Now

Of course, there's also the option of making other characters, like Lady Edith (Laura Carmichael), the focus of a film too.

Fellowes said there are a "lot of different directions" they can take the franchise in. "The thing about characters is when you've gone on with them so long, it's like annotating a real life because lives go on a long time," he said. "There's all this stuff to catch up on because, really, all you've done is the odd telephone call or a Christmas card for two and a half years. So there's no reason to believe there's a natural, finite moment with these things."

Heck, they could even take Downton back in time, a decision that would open the doors to a Gilded Age crossover event. Fellowes' HBO Max series, which stars Carrie CoonCynthia Nixon and more, takes place in New York City, 30 years before the Crawleys became the subject of Downton Abbey.

"We might, I suppose, reasonably enough see Cora's mother, who was quite a vivid character if you remember," he shared of a possible Gilded Age cameo. "I haven't made any decision on that, but it's a different world."

Nonetheless, a person can hope.

(E! and Focus Features are both members of the NBCUniversal family.)

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