The Downton Abbey movie is officially happening. The show creator, Julian Fellowes hinted that a movie was likely to happen last week, but didn't offer any other information regarding the subject of the widely successful television series. Downton Abbey ran for six seasons on ITV in the U.K. and on PBS in the United States, collecting Emmy Awards and becoming one of the U.K.'s biggest programs of all time. Fellowes admitted that a script had been worked on, but was waiting on the green light from the studio to make sure it was really going to happen.

The green light has officially turned on for the Downton Abbey movie as the Associated Press reports. NBCUniversal International president, Michael Edelstein had this to say.

"There's a movie in the works. It's been in the works for some time. We are working on getting the script right and then we've got to figure out how to get the (cast) together. Because as you know, people go on and do other things. But we're hopeful to make a movie sometime next year."

Edelstein is in Singapore at a red-carpet event for Downton Abbey: The Exhibition, which features costumes, locations and never-before-seen footage from the television series. Apparently cast members learned of the news after it had been announced. Sophie McShera who plays Daisy Mason said, "Oh, well, you've got the information before us. We have no idea if it's happening." She went on to say that the cast would love to do it, if it happens for sure. Laura Carmichael who plays Lady Edith Crawley was just as surprised and said "Well, tell my agent, because we're still waiting to know, we're hoping it happens soon." Though it came as a surprise, the cast all seems excited at the prospect of a Downton Abbey movie.

The hit historical period drama series ended in 2015 after six seasons and showed the lives of the aristocratic Crawley family in England. The show takes place in between 1912 and 1926 in the fictional Yorkshire estate. Real news from history is depicted in the show, like the sinking of the Titanic, the outbreak of the First World War, the Spanish influenza pandemic, and the Marconi scandal, and more. It was the most watched show on both the U.K.'s ITV and the U.S.'s PBS in addition to becoming a worldwide success.

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While rumors of a Downton Abbey movie have been swirling since before the end of the series in 2015, nothing official has been announced until now. But even the official announcement seems to be a little odd since the cast found out about it after it was in the news. It remains to be seen how many actors from the massive ensemble cast that they'll be able to pull for the big screen adaptation, but at least most of the cast has expressed interest and even excitement at the possibility. News is developing, but work is expected to begin next year, so hopefully all of the actors can clear some time for the project.

Kevin Burwick at Movieweb
Kevin Burwick