Published On: Wed, Jan 26th, 2022

Downton Abbey 2 ‘Entire changes’ afoot as Julian Fellowes says ‘Killing them off is hard’ | Films | Entertainment

It’s less than two months now until Downton Abbey 2 finally hits cinemas. The first film based on the hit period drama was set in 1927 and Downton Abbey: A New Era will see The Crawleys enter the 1930s. Creator Julian Fellowes, whose new drama The Gilded Age begins this week on NOW and HBO Max, cannot wait for fans to see the sequel.

Appearing on ITV’s Love Your Weekend with Alan Titchmarsh, Fellowes said: “I’m pleased with it actually, I think it works pretty well. It’s a feel-good [movie], and I don’t know about you, but I could use a bit of feel-good right now. There’s a kind of fun in getting the club together again because it’s been a long time, particularly for the young ones – their careers have changed entirely over this period.”

What could this mean for the Downton estate? Will Lady Mary be taking more of a leading role or not?

Whatever the case, Fellowes has also addressed the big deaths that have taken place since Downton Abbey began on TV in 2010.

The most shocking deaths had to be Dan Stevens’ Matthew Crawley at the end of a Christmas special and Jessica Brown-Findlay’s Lady Sybil.

Fellowes reflected: “Killing them off is hard. I mean, the audience always thinks you’ve done it wilfully. You know, [as if] I come in like some tyrant saying ‘Off with his head’, but it isn’t, of course, it’s the actor saying it’s the end of my three-year contract and I’ve got a play on Broadway. The trouble is, a servant can get another job – there is no problem with that. They go off, and they work for Lady so-and-so instead, and that’s fine. But a member of the family who was never prepared to be seen again, for them it’s the grim reaper. There is no way around it.”

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The first trailer for Downton Abbey 2 sees Maggie Smith’s Lady Violet receiving news that she’s inherited a villa in the south of France.

It’s clear that The Dowager has a secret past, as Carson the Butler is shown finding a miniature portrait of her in her youth at the house across the channel.

But given news of her terminal illness at the end of the first movie, will Violet live beyond the film’s opening?

Downton Abbey: A New Era hits cinemas on March 18, 2022.

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