While initial reports stated that the original cast are all onboard, with Michelle Dockery, Maggie Smith, Hugh Bonneville and Joanne Froggatt (aka Anna Bates) all confirmed, it turns out one of our favourite characters won’t be joining the rest of the cast on the big screen.
Lily James, who played Lady Rose MacClare has confirmed she will not be returning to Highclere Castle.
“I’m sadly not, but I’m so excited for it — I’m going to be front row,” the 29-yearold Mamma Mia star told People of not being part of the film.
“I spoke to Laura [Carmichael] not long ago and was texting Michelle [Dockery] about Love Island and it’s going to be really exciting. And the whole gang is coming back,” she added.
But the reasoning is possibly the most surprising, it’s not the usual scheduling conflict, but rather just no space for her character in the script.
“My character Rose moved off to New York, so it would be farfetched to bring her back,” explains James.
“I would have loved to have come back for a scene, but for a movie it can’t be like a Christmas special and it needs to be a focused storyline,” she continued, adding, “There was no space for Rose.”
Michelle Dockery was the one to break the news, taking to Instagram the actress who plays Lady Mary, wrote, “The secret’s out... Thrilled to announce that #DowntonAbbey is coming to the big screen. Filming to commence this summer.”
“When the television series drew to a close it was our dream to bring the millions of global fans a movie and now, after getting many stars aligned, we are shortly to go into production,” film producer Gareth Neame told Deadline of the big screen reboot. “Julian’s script charms, thrills and entertains and in Brian Percival’s hands we aim to deliver everything that one would hope for as Downton comes to the big screen.”