Downton Abbey: A New Era And The Outfit Release Dates Pushed Back By Focus Features

The British are still coming — they're just taking a little longer than expected. As the world continues its routine of being a terrifying place and the Omicron variant remains a major concern, heading out to the movies is a difficult decision. Since no one can be sure of when we can safely fill theater seats, the delays keep coming. Focus Features just announced two big shifts in their 2022 release calendar: both "Downton Abbey: A New Era" and "The Outfit" have been pushed to later dates in 2022. Whether you're on either side of the British drama spectrum — elegant gowns or thrilling mobster action — and even if you're somewhere in the middle, the good news is that the wait won't be too excruciating. Compared to more drastic COVID-inspired delays, these films aren't too far off.

The Crawleys Set Sail

Previously expected to premiere next month, Graham Moore's "The Outfit" will make its theatrical debut on March 18, 2022. Following a tailor named Leonard, uprooted from London to Chicago, the film digs into darkness as he attempts to survive a fateful night by outwitting a group of sketchy gangsters. "The Outfit" marks the directorial debut of Academy Award-winning screenwriter Moore, who also penned "The Imitation Game." The film features an all-star cast including Mark Rylance ("The Trial of the Chicago 7"), Dylan O'Brien ("The Maze Runner" series), Zoey Deutch ("Set It Up"), Johnny Flynn ("Emma").

"Downton Abbey: A New Era" has a slightly larger delay, but still makes its debut in Spring of 2022. The film will arrive exclusively to theaters on May 20, 2022, in the US and April 29, 2022 in the UK. No surprise there — the Brits have first dibs on the latest Crawley drama, not unlike when the series would hit the BBC before making its way to Masterpiece Classic on PBS. This move puts the film one week away from the release of "Top Gun Maverick," which isn't super-relevant, but if the Tom Cruise thriller gets delayed yet again, I'm starting the rumor that they were just afraid of Downton's power.

Early glimpses of "Downton Abbey: A New Era" hint that both change and wedding bells are in the air. The burgeoning romance between Tom Branson (Allen Leech) and Lucy Smith (Tuppence Middleton) has evolved to the point of tying the knot, and the Crawley's are making plans to cross an ocean. The films sees the characters set off "on a grand journey to the South of France to uncover the mystery of the Dowager Countess' newly inherited villa."

The latest addition to the "Downton Abbey story comes from series creator Julian Fellowes and reunites the beloved cast as they enter this new chapter. This includes Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary Talbot, Hugh Bonneville as Robert Crawley, Laura Carmichael as Edith Pelham, Elizabeth McGovern as Cora Crawley, Allen Leech as Tom Branson and, last but certainly not least, Maggie Smith as Violet Crawley. Joining the returning cast members are newcomers Hugh Dancy, Laura Haddock, Nathalie Baye and Dominic West.