Period drama fans will be delighted to see the familiar faces reunited – with a couple of newcomers.
Downton Abbey producers have released a first cast picture of the upcoming film, which takes over where the TV series left off.
Imelda Staunton, 63 – who is married to Downton veteran Jim Carter – joins the cast as Lady Bagshaw, as does Tuppence Middleton, 32, who plays Lucy.
Among returning figures, from both upstairs and downstairs, are Dame Maggie Smith, 84, as the Dowager Countess of Grantham and Hugh Bonneville and Elizabeth McGovern as Lord and Lady Grantham.
Of course, no aristocratic family would be complete without its dog, although it is not known whether the retriever is Tiaa, who was seen in the final ITV series.
The film is set one year on, in 1927, and revolves around a royal visit from George V and Queen Mary. It will be released in the UK in September.
And Downton Abbey producers have teased viewers with a first-look picture of the upcoming film – which boasts two new characters.
Set in 1927, the spin-off of the hit ITV series will see the Crawley family and their staff return to their Edwardian country house for a feature film.
The snap from the eagerly awaited blockbuster, which is penned by Julian Fellowes, shows the 20 principal cast members in the mansion.
Imelda Staunton, 63, joins her husband and Downton veteran Jim Carter for the first time as Lady Bagshaw.
Meanwhile, other new face Tuppence Middleton, 32, is pictured looking coy as her arm rests on the chair of Henry Talbot, played by Matthew Goode.
It is not known whether the Bristol-born actress’ character Lucy will be part of the upstairs or downstairs set of the Downton Abbey household.
At the centre of the picture are the heads of the Crawley family – Hugh Bonneville and Elizabeth McGovern.
Lady Cora Crawley is seen touching her pale blue silk glove to the shoulder of Bonneville, who plays Robert Crawley, Earl of Grantham.
Dame Maggie Smith’s cutting character Dowager Countess, who will be 85 in the film, is seen sitting in a blue gown and tiara between her glamorous granddaughters – Lady Mary and Lady Edith Crawley – played by Michelle Dockery and Laura Carmichael.
And it is not just the aristocratic set who are reuniting for the film.
Joanne Froggatt, who previously said the movie will be filled ‘romance, fun, surprises, sadness and intrigue’, is set to return as the much-loved lady’s maid Anna Bates along with her husband John Bates – played by Brendan Coyle.
And Mrs Patmore – played by Lesley Nicol – will be returning to the kitchen with her assistant Daisy Mason.
One notable absence from the line-up is Lily James who played Lady Rose. She previously said she would not be joining the cast as it would appear ‘far-fetched’ if her character returned after moving to New York.
The film, which will be released in UK cinemas on September 13, will revolve around a royal visit from King George V and Queen Mary.
The joint venture from Focus Features and Universal Pictures International will be set in 1927, a year on from the 2015 series six finale which pulled in 8.7million viewers.
Filming for the movie took place at Highclere Castle – home to Earl and Countess of Carnarvon and the original location of the ITV show.
Sneak preview of film set shows characters in 1920s costumes in a military-inspired setting
Downton Abbey fans have already seen the likes of Dame Maggie Smith and Penelope Wilton on set of the new hotly-anticipated movie.
Last September, Michelle Dockery, 36, (Lady Mary Crawley) Hugh Bonneville, 54, (Lord Grantham), Elizabeth McGovern, 57, (Lady Crawley), Laura Carmichael, 32, (Lady Edith Carter), and Jim Carter, 70, (Charles Carson), were all pictured on set for the first time as they appeared in military-inspired scenes outside in Bath, which appeared to show Lord Grantham receiving some sort of honour or award.
Hugh could be seen wearing a military uniform complete with medals and a sword. At one point he removed his jacket to reveal braces, before thumbing through his mobile phone and wearing shades between takes.
Michelle looked fantastic in her emerald green period costume, with her hair swept under her chic grey hat, as she was spotted for the first time on set for the Downton Abbey movie.
Elizabeth wore a dressing gown over the top of her period costume, with her hair in pins and THAT coveted script in her hand, and could be seen reading a book to pass the time when she wasn’t filming.
Laura was pictured with her hair in pin-curls as she sipped from a disposable coffee cup, regally holding it with grey leather gloves.
Horses were decked out in all their finery for the 1920s setting, as they practised their procession with a crew member sitting on a middle horse in order to direct the other animals.
SOURCE: Daily Mail, Susie Cohen