It is looking more and more likely that a Downton Abbey TV series sequel movie is going to happen. Lesley Nicol (Mrs. Patmore) says she has heard creator Julian Fellowes is already working on the script.
Nicol, Allen Leech (Tom Branson), Joanne Froggatt (Anna Bates) and Downton Abbey TV series finale director, Michael Engler, discuss the long-running drama, the finale, and that hoped-for sequel with Deadline‘s Nellie Andreeva.
In the video interview, Froggatt says she only ever went up for the part of Anna. Nicol admits that she auditioned with two scenes, got the part, and learned they never saw anyone else for the role of Downton Abbey‘s head cook, which is as it should be.
Leech confides he was only hired for three episodes initially, adding, “I think a lot of us would agree that when Julian sees what happens on onscreen, he then writes for what people’s strengths are, or the strengths within the stories, that seem to jump out.”
Early on, Leech got a look at the Downton Abbey show “Bible” (i.e. the master plan) for the first three seasons. Planned storylines that did not come to pass include Matthew Crawley (Dan Stevens) ending up with Lady Sybil Crawley (Jessica Brown Findlay)!
Andreeva asked if there had been any possibility of Branson ending up with Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery). Leech shut that right down, saying the two were only ever developing a friendship. “It would be pretty embarrassing. Branson would kind of — kind of want to cast the net slightly further than the next sister.”
Laughing, he added, “I think it would have been kind of strange. And then yeah, something happens to her… Edith? How you doin’?” Fortunately, he did not say it with a Joey Tribbiani-style delivery.
Andreeva asked if Violet (Maggie Smith) was always planned to have the last word. Engler confesses it was not always that way. He says Fellowes admitting to struggling with it for a while. “No matter who he thought of [delivering the final line] he always came back to Maggie, not because it was Maggie, but because the Dowager Countess always represented, in the most historical, important way, what that place meant.”
Watch the Downton Abbey interview, at Deadline.
What do you think? Are you ready for a Downton Abbey movie? Can you believe Matthew and Sybil were originally meant to end up together? Tell us.