Writer Julian Fellowes' sprawling series about the aristocratic Crawley family and their servants captured the hearts of the nation for the whole six series until it ended in 2015. The series was aired not only in the UK and US but in over 150 countries across the world, making it one of the most popular series ever seen on TV.

Downton Abbey in short

The story of the Crawley family ran for six series and cleverly interwove real-life events into the lives of the characters portrayed on screen from the sinking of the Titanic to the horrors of World War I.

Writer Julian Fellowes made frequent allusions to the world outside the walls of Downton Abbey and how it would have affected the inhabitants of the house both upstairs and down. The well-researched stories led us into topics such as the class divide with the affair between Lady Cybil and Tom the chauffeur and how difficult, at that time, it was for anyone to cross the class boundary. It covered the Spanish flu pandemic, the Irish War of Independence and the British General Election of 1923 amongst others. The final series hinted at the rise of the working classes after the first world war and how the aristocracy would, ultimately, fall into decline.

News of the movie

The President of NBC Universal International Studios, Michael Edelstein, told reporters of the Associated Press at a 'Downton Abbey Exhibition' in Singapore that " a movie is in the works and has been in the works for some time." Edelstein went on to say that they hoped to get at least 20 cast members together for the film to go into production next year.

He acknowledged the difficulty in getting the cast together because "people go on and do other things."

Reactions from the cast

As news of the planned production reached the cast, some of whom were also present at the exhibition of costumes, locations, and never-before-seen footage, it was clear that they were not so aware. Sophie McShera (cook Daisy Mason) stated " We have no idea that's happening." and Laura Carmichael (Lady Edith Crawley) said, "Tell my agent because we're still waiting to know."

However, it seems that good news travels fast because Sky News reported on Twitter earlier today that " Production of a Downton Abbey film will begin in 2018, three years after the series finale in the UK." Whenever it happens, if it happens, one thing is for certain, there are legions of fans worldwide who will be thrilled to see the return of their favourite family of aristocrats and take a peek into their lives one last time.