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Downton Abbey 3 announced but major cast members are missing | Films | Entertainment

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The producers officially confirmed the return of the blockbuster British costume drama to the big screen today: “Focus Features and Carnival Films are thrilled to announce the third film in the beloved Downton Abbey franchise.”

As always, the next film will be written by creator Julian Fellowes. 2022’s Downton Abbey: A New Era director Simon Curtis is also back at the helm.

A video shared to X showed the cast reunited and excitedly greeting each other. Lady Mary star Michelle Dockery had a message for all the fans: “It feels amazing, it’s emotional. It’s wonderful all to be back together again. We come back together and it’s like no time has passed at all.

“We’re so happy to announce that we’re in production for the third Downton Abbey movie. We can’t wait to see you.”

The official announcement confirm the return of almost all the major cast members: Hugh Bonneville, Elizabeth McGovern, Michelle Dockery, Laura Carmichael, Jim Carter, Phyllis Logan, Robert James-Collier, Joanne Froggatt, Allen Leech, Penelope Wilton, Lesley Nicol, Michael Fox, Raquel Cassidy, Brendan Coyle, Kevin Doyle, Harry Hadden-Paton, Sophie McShera, and Douglas Reith.

Paul Giamatti is back as Cora Grantham’s brother Harold Levinson and it looks like gay butler Thomas’ happy ever after hopefully continues with Dominic West returning as Hollywood star Guy Dexter.

Brand new additions include Joely Richardson, Alessandro Nivola, Simon Russell Beale. However, fans immediately spotted important names missing from the cast list.

At the very end of A New Era, Maggie Smith’s Dowager Countess Violet revealed to her granddaughter Mary that she had been to London to see a specialist, and that she was terminally ill. Fans have long feared her impending loss.

Smith is the first cast member who is not mentioned in the new press release, although Julian Fellowes has previously commented that she is usually the last to confirm her involvement.

The second actor not mentioned by the producers is Matthew Goode, who plays Mary’s husband, Henry. After a long and winding and often torturous road to wedlock, the pair never seem to be together. Will the writers make the same excuses again?

Henry’s passion for cars and racing has been the plot device used to keep him frequently off-camera on business trips.

Fans were not impressed at his absence from the cast list: “So Matthew Goode will make an appearance in this film, right? Henry feels like such an absentee husband at this point, lol.”

Another added: “Are Mary and Henry just divorced at this point?”

So far the producers, writers and cast have given nothing away about the plot. We know it will be filming over the summer but no official release date has been announced, yet.

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