Producers said that the “original principal cast” from the period drama will return for the movie, to begin production later this summer.
Downton’s creator Julian Fellowes wrote the new screenplay and will also co-produce the hotly anticipated film. The announcement has followed fevered speculation about when the ITV drama, starring Hugh Bonneville, Michelle Dockery, Dame Maggie Smith, Laura Carmichael, Jim Carter and others, would make it to the big-screen.
Dockery, who played Lady Mary Crawley, wrote on Instagram: “The secret’s out... Thrilled to announce that Downton Abbey is coming to the big screen.”
Yorkshire’s Joanne Froggatt, who played Anna Bates, tweeted a snap of herself alongside Dockery and Dame Maggie Smith (who played Lady Crawley), writing: “Delighted to announce we’re getting the band back together!”
Brian Percival, whose credits include The Book Thief and About A Girl and who directed the series’ pilot, will direct the film.
The film’s producer Gareth Neame said in a statement: “When the television series drew to a close it was our dream to bring the millions of global fans a movie and now, after getting many stars aligned, we are shortly to go into production.
“Julian’s script charms, thrills and entertains and in Brian Percival’s hands we aim to deliver everything that one would hope for as Downton comes to the big screen.”