Fans will have to wait a little longer to return to Downton. Focus Features is pushing the North American release of “Downton Abbey 2” from Dec. 22, 2021, to March 18, 2022.
The film will now compete against “Unbreakable Boy,” a drama with Zachary Levi, Meghann Fahy and Patricia Heaton. The following weekend will bring the juggernaut that is “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness,” but “Downton Abbey 2,” which appeals to older audiences should be some nice counter-programming to the younger-skewing Marvel release. In its former slot, “Downton Abbey 2” would have been up against the likes of “Matrix 4,” “Sing 2” and “The King’s Man.”
The follow-up to the hit 2019 film, itself a spinoff of the popular TV show, will bring back most of the upstairs/downstairs cast. That includes both members of the key Grantham clan, played by the likes of Hugh Bonneville, Maggie Smith, Elizabeth McGovern and Michelle Dockery, as well as actors Jim Carter, Joanne Froggatt and Brendan Coyle, who play their butlers, maids and other servants. New additions to the ensemble include Hugh Dancy, Laura Haddock, Nathalie Baye and Dominic West. The screenplay is written by “Downton” creator Julian Fellowes, with Emmy and BAFTA Award-winning Gareth Neame and Emmy Award-winning Liz Trubridge producing with Fellowes. Simon Curtis (“My Week With Marilyn”) is directing the film, which wraps production next month.
Universal Pictures International will release “Downton Abbey 2” internationally on the same date. The first “Downton Abbey” grossed an impressive $194.3 million and centered on a visit by the Royal Family. No word yet on what posh visitors may get a hankering for a trip to the country in the sequel. “Downton Abbey 2” is a Carnival Films production.