Gyaaaaah!!! If you’re a Downton Abbey diehard (raises hand vigorously: ME!), then even the slightest glimpse at a new chapter of the Crawley family saga is enough to make you absolutely giddy anticipation. (UPDATE: the full teaser trailer can now be seen online. You can also watch it below.)
That’s the hook here with this First Look glimpse at Downton Abbey: A New Era, the second feature film in the franchise (both having followed the 6-season TV run.) It’s meant to send Anglophiles to theaters to see Belfast, the new coming-of-age tale from writer / director Kenneth Branagh that is loosely based on his own childhood. That film will launch the debut of the full trailer for Downton Abbey: A New Era, as it will play exclusively in front of Branagh’s early Oscar contender (suggesting that the trailer won’t be immediately available online).
It’s a savvy marketing move for Focus Features, distributor of both films, as each movie plays to the same core audience. Continuing the upstairs / downstairs melodrama of the Crawleys, their loyal staff, and the iconic estate of the Earl of Grantham, Downton Abbey: A New Era finds the Crawleys nearing the 1930s, with Mary Crawley (Michelle Dockery) continuing to take over the management of Downton from her father Robert (Hugh Bonneville).
As this teaser-for-the-trailer hints (along with a new set of four photos, seen below), there looks to be more romance, intrigue, and elegance for this highbrow soap from Academy Award winning writer and series creator Julian Fellowes (Gosford Park).
Fellowes describes the latest trip back to Downton as an “unashamedly feel-good film,” adding:
- “As we know from the last film, Mary may not be the titular head of the household, but she is effectively running the show. We take that further…We’re trying to mark the change — the fact that Crawleys of Downton are nearly in the 1930s, which is merely the beginning of the modern world…I like the idea that people go into the movie and have a great two hours and then go out to have dinner. That seems to me to be a good thing. If we are useful for cheering people up and giving them an easy time of it, that doesn’t bother me.”
Reuniting with Dockery and Bonneville are cast regulars Maggie Smith, Elizabeth McGovern, Laura Carmichael, Harry Hadden-Paton, Allen Leech, Tuppence Middleton, Jim Carter, Phyllis Logan, Brendan Coyle, Joanne Froggatt, Penelope Wilton, Robert James-Collier, Lesley Nicol, Phyllis Logan, Kevin Doyle, Sophie McShera, Matthew Goode, and Michael Fox, plus additions from the first film Imelda Staunton and David Haig.
Newcomers to the Downton ensemble will include Dominic West (TV’s The Affair and The Wire), Laura Haddock (Guardians of the Galaxy), and Hugh Dancy (TV’s Hannibal and Homeland).
With a screenplay by Fellowes and directed by Simon Curtis (My Week With Marilyn, TV’s Cranford), Downton Abbey: A New Era opens next spring on March 18, 2022.
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