Downton Abbey: A New Era
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The worldwide phenomenon and multi-award winning Downton Abbey returns to the big screen with a movie sequel starring the Crawley family and their household staff—and the Downton Abbey: A New Era: The Official Film Companion is the Downton fan’s front-row ticket to all the behind-the-scenes action.
In addition to the original principal cast—including Dame Maggie Smith as the Dowager Countess, Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary, and Hugh Bonneville and Elizabeth McGovern as Lord and Lady Grantham—fans will gain an unprecedented look at the new Downton characters, including those played by new cast members Hugh Dancy, Laura Haddock, Nathalie Baye, and Dominic West.
Featuring spectacular photographs from the production, interviews with the cast and crew, and insight from Downton Abbey writer and creator Julian Fellowes, Downton Abbey: A New Era: The Official Film Companion gives fans an in-depth experience of the magic and elegance of Downton Abbey.



Publié par
Date de parution 24 juin 2022
Nombre de lectures 26
EAN13 9781681889047
Langue English
Poids de l'ouvrage 462 Mo

Informations légales : prix de location à la page 0,0800€. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.











what a pleasure it is to welcome you back to Downton Abbey . Woven into the film’s storyline
are two exciting new elements: The ancestral home of the Crawleys is turned into a film set
and provides the backdrop for an early “talking picture.” At the same time, members of the
family and staff have decamped to the fashionable sunny climes of the French Riviera, this
foreign expedition being a first for the series and something quite special.

The film features a host of new characters played by Dominic West, Laura Haddock,
Hugh Dancy, Nathalie Baye and Jonathan Zaccaï, all of whom deliver superb performances.
As always, however, the Crawley family and the staff who serve them are at the heart of
Downton Abbey . Whatever challenges appear, they are the ones who work around the problem
and save the day. When it looks as though the film production is about to fall apart, Lady
Mary steps in to provide her voice for one of the characters, Molesley reworks the script and
the staff are drafted to serve as movie extras. In France, Robert finds himself in a very alien
environment and must wrestle with some earth-shattering news. And throughout the film
we see the resolution of various romances, from the joyful wedding of Tom Branson and
Lucy to the eventual promise of a happy ending for Barrow, for whom audiences have been
rooting for the past decade or more.

The overriding story, perhaps, is that of the Dowager Countess. The film opens with
Violet alone at the Abbey, now too frail to attend Tom and Lucy’s wedding and ends with a
close-up of her portrait in the hall watching over the younger members of the family, just as
Mary predicted she one day would at the end of the previous film. Dame Maggie Smith is,
of course, remarkable and her final scenes are testament both to her standing as one of our
greatest actresses and to the creative chemistry that exists between her and Julian Fellowes.
While it may seem as if she were a permanent presence on Downton Abbey , the truth is that
when we were making the television series we never knew for certain whether she would be
returning each year. We were always in the somewhat bizarre situation of working on scripts
until quite late in the day, only to breathe a huge sigh of relief when she finally said yes and
we knew she was on board. The wait was always well worth it. Nonetheless, as Violet herself
is all too aware, the time has come for her to pass on the mantle. Downton Abbey is set to
embark on a new era and I am delighted to welcome you to it.

Gareth Neame
Producer, Downton Abbey
London, 2021

6 | Downton Abbey: A New Era


“You travel thousands and thousands of miles,
and you get off a plane and someone says,
‘Is Mr. Carson going to marry Mrs. Hughes?’”

Followers of Downton Abbey of course know
full well that Mr. Carson does, eventually,
marry Mrs. Hughes, and those fans, as Julian
Fellowes testifies, may be found almost any-
where in the world. Since 2010, the six sea-
sons of Downton Abbey have aired in over 250
territories around the globe, with fans from
Seattle to Shanghai, and from Brisbane to
Bonn, tuning in by the millions to catch up
on the continuing fortunes of the Crawley
household. By 2016, after the final season
aired in the United Kingdom, Downton Abbey
had earned itself three Golden Globes, fifteen
Emmys, four Screen Actors Guild awards,
and a BAFTA Television Special Award. It
was, quite simply, one of the most successful
television dramas ever made.

After a three-year hiatus and fevered spec-
ulation, Downton Abbey returned as a movie
in 2019. Enthusiasm for the film release had
mounted, as was evident during test screenings
when audiences began cheering at the first
sight of the familiar turrets of Highclere Castle
accompanied by the pulsating rhythm of the
Downton music. In the United States and the
United Kingdom, the movie topped the box
office in its opening weekend, knocking Brad
Pitt and Sylvester Stallone features off the top
spot. The Downton Abbey movie earned more
than $193 million at the worldwide box office,
making it the highest grossing film of all time
for its distributor Focus Features.

On the back of such success, it’s no sur-
prise that plans were put in place for a second
movie, one that featured all the ingredients
that have made Downton an enduring suc-
cess but scaled up in a new setting and sce-
nario. Downton Abbey’ s creators, principally
producer Gareth Neame and writer Julian
Fellowes, had a few ideas up their sleeves as
to how they might achieve that, part of which
involved taking Downton Abbey to an exciting
new location.

“Some of the Christmas Day episodes
we did for the series, where we went to the
Highlands of Scotland, Northumberland, or
London for the season, had a really special
feel about them,” explains Neame. “I had
always wanted to take Downton Abbey to
the French Riviera—in the 1920s our char-
acters would have been traveling there, and
in fact we learn that Violet went there as a
young woman in the nineteenth century, so it
seemed entirely credible. So when Julian and
I began talking about what the story of a sec-
ond film might be, I pushed for the Riviera
idea and for us to come up with a story that
would take them down there.

“Of course when we had that discussion in
2019, before anyone had even heard of Covid,
that all seemed a fantastic idea. When the pan-
demic kicked in and Julian and I had to stop
work on another production in New York
[HBO’s The Gilded Age ] and come back to the

10 | Downton Abbey: A New Era
UK, the subsequent lockdown between March and the sum-
mer of 2020 gave us the opportunity to work on the Downton
script. At that point we thought, well, thank goodness we
hadn’t planned to shoot the movie until the following year,
when we assumed everything would be back to normal. So
we pushed on with the script, sent it out to the actors in the
autumn, did deals with them, and signed them all up.

“Everything was going swimmingly until a second
wave of Covid hit the UK in December 2020, by which
time we were into preproduction for the film, and from
then all the way to April 2021, I was incredibly concerned
about new Covid variants and borders closing. What
should have been a fairly simple operation logistically—
and as a successful film franchise we had the budget to
go to the South of France—rapidly became a pretty dicey
operation during which we constantly worried about
whether or not we would make it to France.

“As a result, we were forced to come up with Plan Z,
a contingency plan made up of locations in Scotland and
Kent that would stand in for France if we couldn’t make
it there. I termed it Plan Z because it was more of a last-
resort, fingers-crossed-we-don’t-have-to-do-it option, as
we were so reliant on the weather. And the whole time
we were eventually shooting in France, it rained in the
UK pretty much every day, which would have been fairly
disastrous for us.

“Thankfully, we managed to get everyone out there,
and I followed on a few days later. On the day that the
cast and crew were flying out, we had one scheduled and
one charter flight taking them, and I was on such ten-
terhooks that I followed the flights at home on my iPad
using an online flight tracker. I followed them taking off,
crossing the French coastline, and it was only when they
landed that I could finally breathe a sigh of relief.”

A Global Phenomenon |


has now reached 1928, a year that witnessed
countless important milestones in the United
Kingdom, from the extension of the vote to
women over the age of twenty-one to the
discovery of the world’s first true anti-
biotic, penicillin, by Scottish physician Sir
Alexander Fleming. In September of that
year, British audiences were also introduced
to their first talking film when The Jazz Singer
opened in London.

The latter, in particular,
caught the eye of
Abbey ’s creators, who have
always looked to real events on
which to shape storylines. The
year saw a tremendous buzz
among filmgoers about the
first talking movies, and the
industry, caught on the back
foot, had to evolve rapidly to
embrace the new technology.
Such an occurrence is reflected
in Downton Abbey: A New Era when a film
crew move into the estate to make a silent
picture and find that halfway through pro-
duction they must add sound. It’s a little-told
part of early British cinema history, which is
also personally connected to Gareth Neame,
Downton Abbey ’s producer.

The multi-award-winning producer,
who conceived Downton Abbey with Julian
Fellowes, represents the fourth generation of
a family that has been blazing a trail in the
film and television industry back to the silent
era. Gareth’s paternal great-grandmother,
Ivy Close, starred in a long list of silent films

Gareth’s paternal
Ivy Close, starred
in a long list of
silent films from
1914 to 1927.

from 1914 to 1927, including a lead role in
French film director Abel Gance’s innovative
La Roue in 1923. Ivy’s “dreamy, sylph-like
brand of loveliness” had previously led to her
winning the Daily Mirror ’s Most Beautiful
Woman in the World competition in 1908,
during which she caught the eye of society
photographer Elwin “Senny” Neame. They
married, and Senny went on to try his hand
in the new moving-image business, directing
Ivy in several films, including
The Lady of Shalott (1912). Fou

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