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Paul Giamatti to Star in Third ‘Downton Abbey’ Movie: What We Know

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Downton Abbey‘s third film has officially been greenlit and will include the return of fan-favorite characters played by Paul Giamatti and The Crown actor Dominic West

On Monday, ET confirmed that the beloved TV series turned into a mega-successful film franchise will move forward with a brand new script penned by the show’s creator, Julian Fellowes, who previously wrote the 2019 film, Downton Abbey, as well as the 2022 sequel, Downton Abbey: A New Era

According to Focus Features and Carnival Films, the third installment adds Giamatti, 56, who plays Harold Levinson — the brother of Cora Crawley (Elizabeth McGovern) — who was last seen by fans in the Downton Abbey Christmas special at the end of season 4. 

Newcomers include The Gentleman star Joely Richardson, as well as Alessandro Nivola, Simon Russell Beale and Arty Froushan. West, who recently completed his run as Prince Charles on Netflix’s The Crown — a show that scored him and the cast an Emmy nomination in 2023 — reprises his role in the unnamed third Downton Abbey film as Guy Dexter from A New Era

Focus Features

As for returning main cast members, virtually all of the series’ original stars are set to return, including Hugh Bonneville, Elizabeth McGovern, Michelle Dockery, Laura Carmichael, Jim Carter, Phyllis Logan, Robert James-Collier, Joanne Froggatt, Allen Leech, Penelope Wilton, Lesley Nicol, Michael Fox, Raquel Cassidy, Brendan Coyle, Kevin Doyle, Harry Hadden-Paton, Sophie McShera and Douglas Reith. 

While the long list of names is enough to excite even the most casual of Abbey fans, eagle-eyed fans were quick to notice a few names absent from the docket, including Dame Maggie SmithImelda Staunton and Matthew Goode — who notably did not appear in A New Era either as Henry Talbot, the husband of Dockery’s character. 

Staunton’s absence is especially conspicuous as the 68-year-old Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix actress was the first to break the news of a third film. She starred in the first two films as Queen Mary’s lady-in-waiting, Lady Maud Bagshaw. 

“There will be the final film. There you go,” Staunton said during a BBC radio appearance in March. 

Imelda Staunton (middle) in the 2022 ‘Downton Abbey’ filmFocus Features

The BBC radio show’s host, Zoe Ball, who appeared shocked by the actress’ candor, followed up and asked if her spilling the tea about another film is something she is allowed to be sharing. 

“Wow, that’s pretty huge. I hope we haven’t got you in trouble,” Ball said.

“I don’t care,” retorted Staunton. 

The show Downton Abbey ended in 2015 after six seasons, but fans begged the cast and crew to come back for more, resulting in the 2019 and 2022 films.

In March, ET spoke with the former star of the show, Dan Stevens, who reacted to Staunton spilling the details of the third movie and why the show — which struck a chord both in the U.S. and the U.K. and became a global phenomenon — seems to be just as popular as it was while airing. 

“Like with any show where you’re in people’s living rooms on a Sunday evening, you know, people take a special kind of ownership of that,” Stevens said. “They become a part of your family in a way. You sit down, you watch it with your mom, your grandma. So many people I know have seen that show, and it’s really brought families together.”

He added, “We laugh, we cry, but, you know, it’s one of those shows where it means a lot to a lot of people…So I’m excited for another movie.”

Dan Stevens and Michelle Dockery in ‘Downton Abbey’ITV Studios

Ahead of the release of A New Era, ET spoke with the cast, who all expressed interest in returning to early 1900s England for another film. 

“It seemed like a very fitting way to end but the audience has an appetite for it! So it’s driving the writers to step up,” Doyle, 64, said. 

“I mean, it feels like as long as there’s an appetite out there,” Dockery, 42, noted. “The audience seems to just keep wanting to see more of Downton.”

She added, “I love doing it and I love playing Mary, so we’ll see.”

A release date for the third film has yet to be set. 

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