NBCU Int’l Studios President Michael Edelstein told the Associated Press that the company hopes to assemble 20 cast members from the Carnival Films/Masterpiece series, which ran on ITV in the UK and PBS in the U.S., for a production start date in 2018.
“We are working on getting the script right and then we’ve got to figure out how to get the [cast] together,” said Edelstein. “Because, as you know, people go on and do other things. But we’re hopeful to make a movie sometime next year.”
Speaking at an event for Downton Abbey: The Exhibition in Singapore, Edelstein acknowledged that a film version of the Emmy Award-winning show had been in the works for “some time.” Producer Gareth Neame and creator-writer Julian Fellowes told Deadline last year that a feature film was on the cards but assembling the cast was “not a straightforward leap.”
“Julian and I are enthusiastic to do it,” said Neame at the time. “And so are the cast, I believe, so hopefully it will happen.”
Fellowes has already been working on a script for the feature film version but the cast members reportedly did not know yet about the movie but reacted in favor.
“Well, tell my agent because we’re still waiting to know,” Laura Carmichael, who played one of the aristocrats in the series, told AP.
“You’ve got confirmation before us,” said Sophie McShera, another cast member who played a cook. “We have no idea if that’s happening. But we would all love to be part of the film if it was to happen for sure.”
Downton Abbey which wrapped its six-season run in the UK in 2015 and in the U.S. in 2016, portrays the lives of the aristocratic Crawley family in England and their servants against the backdrop of historical events in the early 20th century.