Everything we know about Downton Abbey 3

The third film follows 2022’s sequel Downton Abbey: A New Era

Laura Carmichael, Samantha Bond, Hugh Bonneville and Maggie Smith on the set of Downton Abbey: A New Era
The stars of Downton Abbey will return for a third movie. (Focus Features)

Good news for all those who know their soup spoon from their salad fork – Downton Abbey 3 is officially in the works and will be gracing cinemas with its presence in the not too distant future.

The movie follows 2022’s Downton Abbey: A New Era, the sequel to 2019’s Downton Abbey, the film adaptation of Julian Fellowes’ popular high-society drama that ran for six series on ITV.

The show followed the ups and downs of the upper-class Crawley family, owners of the eponymous Downton Abbey, an airy and extravagant stately home in picturesque Yorkshire.

At the same time, audiences were equally drawn in and delighted by the lives of their serving staff who keep the Abbey running, wait on its owners and find their lives deeply intertwined with that of their employers.

This upstairs-downstairs dynamic proved popular with audiences on both sides of the pond, with US viewers enjoying Downton Abbey just as much as the Brits. With the story now taking place on the big screen, here’s what we can expect from the franchise’s third big-screen outing…

Penelope Wilton and Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey: A New Era
Penelope Wilton and Maggie Smith in the previous film, Downton Abbey: A New Era. (Focus Features)

Downton Abbey 3 doesn’t have a release date just yet. The movie is still in production which means it’s likely that we can expect to check back into Downton sometime in 2025.

Unfortunately, there’s no trailer for Downton Abbey 3. Those fancy suits and ballgowns take some getting into, you know. It’ll likely be a while yet before everyone’s ready for their close-ups.

Samantha Bond, Douglas Reith, Harry Hadden-Paton, Laura Carmichael, Hugh Bonneville, Elizabeth McGovern, Michelle Dockery, Penelope Wilton, Robert James Collier and Michael Fox in Downton Abbey: A New Era
The threequel will be written by Julian Fellowes and directed by Simon Curtis. (Focus Features)

After lots of rumours, unconvincing denials and swiftly dodged interview questions, production on Downton Abbey 3 was officially confirmed in early May, along with some cast details and information on its writer and directing team.

Fans were treated to a short video posted on to Downton’s official X account which made the news public. In it, various Downton cast members can be seen greeting each other and preparing for a table read of the script.

Eventually, Lady Mary star Michelle Dockery tells viewers that production on the third film is currently underway.

“Focus Features and Carnival Films are thrilled to announce the third film in the beloved Downton Abbey franchise,” said the accompanying caption.

We also learned that the threequel will be written by series creator Fellowes and directed by Simon Curtis, who returns to the fold after helming 2022’s Downton Abbey: A New Era.

In fact, the only thing missing was plot details, with information about what this new story might entail being kept closer to the team’s chest than an ill-fitting corset. That said, we did get some cast details which may point towards the type of story Fellowes and Curtis are hoping to tell…

Hugh Bonneville and Michelle Dockery in Downton Abbey: A New Era
Hugh Bonneville returns as Robert Grantham alongside Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary. (Focus Features)

Dockery will return as Lady Mary Talbot, daughter of Earl of Grantham Robert Crawley and Countess Cora Crawley, played by Hugh Bonneville and Elizabeth McGovern, who also return. Laura Carmichael is back as Mary’s sister Edith, with Jim Carter’s ex-head butler Carson, his wife Elise, played by Phyllis Logan, and Robert James-Collier as new head butler Thomas Barrow.

Allan Leech’s Tom Branson, Joanne Froggatt’s Anne Bates, Brendan Coyle’s John Bates, Penelope Wilton’s Lady Merton, Lesley Nicol’s Mrs Patmore, Sophie McShera’s Daisy and Kevin Doyle’s Mr Molesly are also returning.

Michael Fox’s Andy Parker, Raquel Cassidy’s Phyllis Baxter, Harry Hidden-Patron’s Bertie Pelham and Douglas Reith’s Lord Merton will be back too.

Paul Giamatti attends the 96th Annual Academy Awards
Oscar nominee Paul Giamatti returns to Downton Abbey. (Getty)

Together, these regulars will be joined by some returning guest stars including Paul Giamatti as Cora’s brother Harold who first appeared in a Christmas special.

He’ll be joined by Joely Richardson, The Many Saints of Newark’s Alessandro Nivola, The Death of Stalin’s Simon Russell Beale and US actor Arty Froushan, suggesting the film might have more of a US-based storyline.

Fresh from The Crown, Dominic West returns to the Downton franchise as his New Era character Guy Dexter.

Downton Abbey 3 is coming to cinemas soon.