‘Downton Abbey: A New Era’: The Dowager Countess Reveals Her “Mysterious Past” in Extended Teaser Trailer

Downton Abbey

Hugh Bonneville as Robert Grantham and Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary in the first look photos for the upcoming film 'Downton Abbey: A New Era,' which hits theatres next March. Photo: Ben Blackall / © 2021 Focus Features, LLC

“The British are coming.”

So butler Charles Carson (Jim Carter) wryly quips to his wife, Elsie (Phyllis Logan) as the Crawleys prepare to head to France in the first extended teaser trailer for the upcoming Downton Abbey: A New Era film.

The movie doesn’t hit theatres until March 2022 and plot details remain under tight wraps — which is why fans are chomping at the bit for any morsel of detail that they can get from the trailer.

Debuting this weekend in theatres ahead of the film Belfast, the first teaser trailer of any substance (an even shorter teaser was released last week) for Downton Abbey: A New Era doesn’t give away much in terms of plot — though it does set up a major move for the Crawley clan.

The teaser centres around Maggie Smith, 86, as the Dowager Countess — who was revealed to be terminally ill at the end of the first film based the hit television series, the 2019 offering Downton Abbey. Now, A New Era picks up where the 2019 film left off, meaning the Dowager Countess is not only still very much alive, but is prepared to reveal a deep, dark secret.

“Years ago, before you were born, I met a man. And now I’ve come into possession of a villa in the south of France,” she explains to her family. She ends the trailer by adding, “And with that, I will say good night and leave you to discuss my mysterious past.”

In between, we see quick clips of said villa, the wedding of Tom Branson as well as many familiar faces from the series — not to mention new arrivals like actress Laura Haddock, who plays high society member Myrna Dalgleish.

“We’re trying to mark the change — the fact that Crawleys of Downton are nearly in the 1930s, which is merely the beginning of the modern world,” Downton Abbey creator — and the film’s writer — Julian Fellowes recently told People magazine.

Part of that change involves Lady Mary Talbot (Michelle Dockery), who, Fellowes noted, “may not be the titular head of the household, but she is effectively running the show. We take that further.”

He added that the title “A New Era” refers not just to the changes within the Crawley household, but the world at large. “The further the ’20s went along, the more the world was changing in so many ways. Everything from entertainment to transport was really different by the end of the ’20s. That’s what we’re referring to in that.”

But ultimately, he noted that the film is an “unashamedly feel-good movie.”

November 10, 2021: Downton Abbey: A New Era: Old Favourites and New Characters Revealed in the Sequel’s First Images and Teaser Trailer

 

Downton Abbey fans got their first peek at the upcoming sequel, Downton Abbey: A New Era with the release of four photos from the film and a teaser trailer.

The teaser, which you can view below, is a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it 15 second montage of clips from the film, culminating with the announcement that the actual trailer will debut this weekend during theatrical screenings of Belfast.

Meanwhile, the photos, like the teaser trailer, feature a mix of returning cast members and new faces, and offer a brief glimpse into the upcoming film, which is scheduled to hit theatres on March 18, 2022.

 

Downton Abbey
No doubt cooking up something delicious, Sophie McShera (left) and Lesley Nicol return as Daisy and Mrs. Patmore respectively in ‘Downton Abbey: A New Era.’ Photo: Ben Blackall / © 2021 Focus Features, LLC

 

Downton Abbey
Hugh Bonneville reprises his role as patriarch Robert Grantham, alongside Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary. Photo: Ben Blackall / © 2021 Focus Features, LLC

 

Downton Abbey
Downton newcomer Laura Haddock plays high society member Myrna Dalgleish, while Michael Fox returns as footman Andy. Photo: Ben Blackall / © 2021 Focus Features, LLC

 

Downton Abbey
Harry Hadden-Paton as Bertie Pelham, Laura Carmichael as Lady Edith, Tuppence Middleton as Lucy Smith and Allen Leech as Tom Branson appear to head out for a game of couples tennis in the new film. Photo: Ben Blackall / © 2021 Focus Features, LLC

 

August 26, 2021: Downton Abbey Unveils Official Title and Hints at Wedding

 

The official title of the Downton Abbey sequel was announced today along with a new release date.

Downton Abbey: A New Era, which was originally announced with the working title Downtown Abbey 2, is set for a theatre-only release on March 18, 2022 — bumped up from its initial release date of Dec. 22.

“A new era begins,” the franchise tweeted on Wednesday.

The franchise also confirmed that Maggie Smith, Hugh Bonneville, Laura Carmichael, Jim Carter, Michelle Dockery and Elizabeth McGovern will all be reprising their roles for the film. Julian Fellowes, has returned to pen the script as well, while Simon Curtis, whose credits include My Week with Marilyn and Woman in Gold, has signed on as director.

The franchise also welcomes some new faces, with Dominic West, Hugh Dancy, Laura Haddock and Nathalie Baye joining the cast.

West, who will also play Prince Charles in the upcoming season of The Crown, is known for star roles in The Wire and The Affair. Meanwhile, Dancy is best known for his role as Will Graham in the hit series Hannibal, while Haddock is known for her roles in White Lines and Guardians of the Galaxy. Baye’s notable appearances include roles in Catch Me if You Can and Call My Agent.

The new title and release date came with whisperings of a teaser shown to attendees at a Cinema Con event in Vegas. The footage, not yet available to the public, reportedly sees Lord Grantham, Lady Mary and the rest of the Crawley’s preparing for a lengthy tour of Europe and included hints of a wedding.

In 2019, the first Downton Abbey film — which premiered four years after the hit show wrapped up its sixth season run — reunited most of the cast for a plot revolving around the preparations for a royal visit from King George V and Queen Mary.

One of the major bombshells dropped in the feature film was the news of Cousin Violet’s illness, which was hinted at early in the film and finally revealed in her intimate conversation with Lady Mary. In the heartbreaking scene, Cousin Violet, a fan favourite played by Academy Award-winning legend Maggie Smith, confirms she’s nearing the end of her life.

However, a recent interview with Downton creator Fellowes suggests we haven’t heard the last quick-witted one-liner from the feisty, yet charming, Crawley.

“We should remember that at the end of the film, Maggie was by no means dead,” he told Hello!. “You imagine Violet is on her way out, but that decision hasn’t been reached.”

— Andrew Wright