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Downton Abbey star reveals huge bittersweet Downton movie news

 Downton Abbey: A New Era poster.
Downton Abbey: A New Era poster.

Imelda Staunton has announced some huge news for Downton Abbey fans, confirming that the beloved franchise is once again heading to the big screen, although sadly this will be the final film.

There's been plenty of speculation about where Downton Abbey might go next, with the most recent film A New Era releasing in 2022, and now fans have something to get excited about.

Actress Imelda Staunton appeared on Zoe Ball's Radio 2 Breakfast show on Wednesday, March 20, where she was quizzed about the franchise and if she could disclose any information about new projects.

She replied with a short but very exciting sentence, saying: "There will be the final film – there you go."

Responding to the huge news, Zoe asked "I hope we haven't got you in trouble?", to which Imelda said: "I don't care."

While that snippet isn't a lot to go off, Downton Abbey fans can look forward to a new movie in the future, and by the sounds of things Imelda is once again involved.

She is known for her role in the period drama, where she played Maud Bagshaw, the queen's lady-in-waiting and the estranged cousin of Lord Grantham, in the previous two movies. Outside of this, she is well-known for her roles as Queen Elizabeth II in Netflix's The Crown, and as the evil Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter series.

Imelda Staunton and Jonathan Pryce in The Crown
Imelda Staunton and Jonathan Pryce in The Crown

Imelda was a new addition to the cast, having not appeared in the original Downton Abbey series, which ran between 2010 - 2015 on ITV and soon became a global hit. There have been rumors that the series may return for season 7, nine years later, according to reports from the Daily Mail. However, this might well be the movie shooting rather than a TV series.

A source "close to the project" told the site: "Filming has been going on for a few weeks now, it is all very, very secret. There are people working on it who have never seen secrecy like it.

"Those working on the set have been made to sign non-disclosure agreements so that they don't give the game away but there is a lot of excitement at the return of Downton."

Fans will have to be patient to find out more about the third movie and if a potential Downton Abbey season 7 is still on the cards...

Previous episodes of Downton Abbey are on ITVX while the two movies can be rented via Prime Video