Though the fiction stars of the proper British soap opera would likely prefer you didn't act in such a manner, you are cordially invited to flip out over the Downton Abbey movie release date. According to Deadline, the feature film adaptation of the Masterpiece Theatre classic will arrive on September 20, 2019 in the United States, and September 13, 2019 in the UK.
Focus Features chairman Peter Kujawski announced the premiere date in a statement per Deadline:
"Since the series ended, fans of Downton have long been waiting for the Crawley family’s next chapter. We’re thrilled to join this incredible group of filmmakers, actors and craftspeople, led by Julian Fellowes and Gareth Neame, in bringing back the world of Downton to the big screen next September."
Writer Julian Fellowes, who also created the series, will be writing the film. On Sept. 19, he gushed about the experience of being back on set to the BBC. "I was at Highclere [Castle, where the TV series was shot] on Friday and there was something almost surreal seeing [the cast] back in their costumes," said Fellowes to BBC News. Everyone loved working together on the show, he explained, "There was something of a reunion like the first day back at school... a very happy school!"
Fellowes has written films before — he even won an Oscar for 2002's Gosford Park — but this is the first time he'll have adapted Downton Abbey for the big screen. In his words, the only challenge was giving all of the characters equal weight in the story (instead of focusing on two or three at the most, like in an episode of television):
"I had to make sure every story of every character was completed within the movie. That did take a certain amount jiggery-pokery, but I am pleased with where we came to and very pleased with the reassembled cast."
"I hope we've done well and the people will enjoy it," he added to the BBC, which continued his streak of saying The Most British Things Ever. For example:
"I've done my best, I know the cast are doing their best and I think it will be fun. But I won't count any chickens, thank you, until it is out, until we know how it is doing."
Truly, the most proper. Still, don't worry! The creator's responses to questions may err on the side of stuffy, but that's classic Downton Abbey, right? It's 40 percent drama and 60 percent repression. (And 100 percent soapy and and addictive and great. Plus, the costumes — oh, the costumes!)
And now for a picture of Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, on the set of Downton Abbey. (Let's hope Meghan, Duchess of Sussex is able to drop by the film's set before too long.)
For all of his delicate "not going to comment" comments on the events of the movie — he's sworn to never reveal a plot point of the film — Fellowes had sweet things to say about filming with the Crawley family once again.
"[Downton Abbey] was a very happy time for us all," Fellowes reflected, "It was a big hit all over the world. It was a very nice cast and I think they made a lot of good friends among them," which made returning for the film that much more delightful. There's about a year to wait until the release, but until then, you can always listen to the soundtrack and pretend you're eating a luxurious cake from Mrs. Patmore.