'Downton Abbey 2' Will Waltz Into Theaters This Christmas

Downton Abbey 2 will be your Christmas gift this year. Following the monster box office success of the first Downton Abbey feature film, Focus Features is bringing back the beloved residents of the fictional Yorkshire country estate for a sequel which will feature the return of the original cast alongside newly confirmed newcomers Hugh Dancy, Dominic West, and more.Downton Abbey's previous Christmas specials will have nothing on Downton Abbey 2, which will continue the story of the Crawley family in a feature film extravaganza set to release in theaters Christmas 2021. Focus features has set the Downton Abbey 2 release date for December 22, 2021, with the film already a week into shooting. The original cast, which included Hugh Bonneville, Michelle Dockery, Maggie Smith, and Matthew Goode, are set to be joined by several series newcomers including Hugh Dancy, Laura Haddock, Nathalie Baye and Dominic West.

TV series creator and writer Julian Fellowes returns to write the Downton Abbey 2 screenplay, while Simon Curtis (My Week with Marilyn) takes over as director. Emmy and BAFTA Award-winning Gareth Neame and Emmy Award-winning Liz Trubridge return to produce with Fellowes, under Gareth Neame's Carnival Films.

"After a very challenging year with so many of us separated from family and friends, it is a huge comfort to think that better times are ahead and that next Christmas we will be re-united with the much beloved characters of Downton Abbey, Neame said in a statement.

Added Focus Features chairman Peter Kujawski, "There's no place like home for the holidays, and we can't imagine a better gift than getting to reunite with Julian, Gareth, and the entire Downton family in 2021 to bring the Crawley's back home for their fans."

For anyone pooh-poohing about another installment of That British Show about rich people panicking over silverware, it cannot be stressed enough how much of a box office smash the first Downton Abbey movie was. Downton Abbey's first day advanced ticket sales were pacing ahead of all other adult dramas in 2019, including Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, and the movie went on to rake in a whopping $194.2 million worldwide. Those are incredible numbers for an adult drama that features no superheroes or action (unless you count the scramble to clean the estate in time for the King and Queen) to speak of. The film was met with critical acclaim too, with many praising the performances of the star-studded cast. Whatever your feelings about Downton Abbey, it can't be denied that it has a loyal and passionate following, who would be glad to return to theaters this Christmas for another banquet with the Crawley family.