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Downton Abbey cast asked to clear schedules for film

ShowbizBy Sunday World
Downton Abbey cast asked to clear schedules for film

The cast of 'Downton Abbey' have been asked to clear their diaries to shoot a film of the hit period drama.

Jim Carter - who portrayed Mr Carson in the ITV programme - has teased that a big screen adaptation of the popular series is definitely in the pipeline for the near future as bosses have been in touch with him and his former co-stars about making sure they're free to shoot the scenes later this year.

Speaking on 'Good Morning Britain' on Thursday (05.01.17), he said: "We've been asked to keep ourselves available for dates in the future. But nobody has seen a script."

Joanne Froggatt - who portrayed Anna Smith in the period drama for five years - set tongues wagging last year when she revealed that Julian Fellowes had penned the script for the forthcoming blockbuster.

She said at the time: "We've all heard this rumour - the cast - that the script has been written.

"There's a hard copy somewhere but none of us have seen it or know what's in it.

"So we'll all keep out fingers crossed that it all comes together. We're all willing it to happen. I'd absolutely jump at the chance to star in it if I'm asked. I'll squeeze it in."

However, although the script is still a mystery, Michael Fox - who played Andy Parker - confirmed Dame Maggie Smith will reprise her role as Violet Crawley when the blockbuster eventually hits the big screen.

He said: "She elevates it to something else, because she is such a legend and a national treasure. The film without her would still be good with all the other actors, but it puts a stamp of quality with her in it."

Viewers were thrown into mourning in 2015 when 'Downton...' came to a dramatic end following five years on screen but creator Julian has always shared his burning desire to turn the drama into a film.

However, the 67-year-old director hinted that he was waiting on vital cast members - believed to be Hugh Bonneville and Michelle Dockery - to free up their schedules.

He said recently: "Let's just say it's not me slowing things down. The difficulty is rounding up the actors. One is in America making a new series, another is in a play ... My lips are sealed! It's very unlikely there won't be a film because there is an audience out there for it. I do hope there is going to be a 'Downton Abbey' film. It's going to be fun once everything is sorted but we just need to restructure it."

It's believed filming for the movie will kick off later this year.