“Downton Abbey” will get a third and 'final' film, according to Imelda Staunton

Cue the theme song...

Call the butler and get out the fine china because Downton Abbey is coming back.

Imelda Staunton, who appeared in the first two films as Queen Mary's lady-in-waiting Maud Bagshaw, told BBC Radio 2 that the cast is returning for a third movie.

"There will be the final film - there you go," Staunton told the radio host, Zoe Ball, who responded, "Wow, that’s pretty huge. I hope we haven’t got you in trouble."

"I don't care," Staunton replied.

Rumors of a third film have swirled since the release of the second movie, Downton Abbey: A New Era, in 2022. Producer Gareth Neame said at the time that the team would happily continue making them if there remained an appetite for more. We can go on with these people as long as the audience wants to go on seeing them and as long as they enjoy them," he said while appearing on a new episode of Variety's Strictly Business podcast.

<p>Focus Features / Courtesy Everett </p> The cast of 'Downton Abbey'

Focus Features / Courtesy Everett

The cast of 'Downton Abbey'

Creator Julian Fellowes also echoed this notion, telling Radio Times, "You never know if more is going to be wanted," he said in 2022. "After every series, after the first film, and now after the second, each time I have said a heart-wrenching goodbye to these people... and then here we are back again."

"I invented them all, I'm their father, and I do feel a kind of obligation towards them, and I'm fond of them," he continued. "It sounds rather romantic to say that, but also you do want to give a really good evening to the people who've been faithful to us for so many years. People talk about stage plays and further movies, but I think it will be made clear to me if there's a strong demand, and if that's what people want, then I won't fight it."

In addition to two feature films, one in 2019 and the other in 2022, Downton ran for six seasons from 2010 through 2016 on PBS.

Reports suggest a third film will begin production this summer, though neither Focus Features, which has distributed both previous Downton Abbey films, nor a representative for Neame responded to EW's request for confirmation.

Presumably, a third film would pick up somewhere after where A New Era left off in the late 1920s.

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