Fellowes, speaking after his Winter TCA press tour session to promote Epix and ITV drama Belgravia, said that he is currently in pre-production for that long-gestating drama series and expects to shoot later this year.
When asked when he would start writing a movie sequel, he joked, “Give us a break, gov. Not until I’ve finished the scripts for The Gilded Age.”
He added that The Gilded Age, which moved from NBC to HBO last year, was in “reasonably good shape” and was pleased with the casting, which includes The Good Fight star Christine Baranski, Sex and the City alumna Cynthia Nixon, Brockmire’s Amanda Peet and The Plot Against America’s Morgan Spector.
The Gilded Age, which is a ten-part series about the millionaire titans of New York City in the 1880s, is now a co-production between Universal TV and HBO. However, Fellowes said, that moving from NBC to HBO was not a big deal because “remember, I haven’t moved from Bob Greenblatt. It’s Bob’s baby and I’ve been working on it with him so it hasn’t been that much of a change.” He admitted that working with HBO meant that he had a little more “space” and “time” but he did receive more notes working in the U.S. than when he worked in the UK.
Fellowes originally parked The Gilded Age to finish the Downton Abbey television series as well as the movie. The feature film has been a box office success, outstripping three-time Oscar winner Brokeback Mountain’s 83 million domestic box office gross to become Focus Features’ highest-grossing title of all time in the U.S.
He added that Downton became a phenomenon after it started airing in the U.S. “That was a lovely magic carpet because it’s possible for people to go through a quite successful career in showbusiness and never have one of these phenomena. I felt we were all very lucky and very privileged.”
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