‘Downton Abbey: The Movie’ rumours have been swirling for months, but there’s one person who’s adamant she won’t be taking part, and that’s the Dowager.
Dame Maggie Smith, who played the Dowager Countess of Grantham through six series of the global hit period drama, revealed at the weekend she thought any plans for a big screen feature version of the show were tantamount to “overkill”.
The Oscar and Emmy-winning actress told the BFI & Radio Times TV Festival: “I think it’s squeezing it dry, do you know what I mean?”
And she added that the plots were, in her opinion, “too meandering” to work in a 90 minute silver screen format. She reflected: “I don’t know what it could possibly be.”
However, she did have one thought about how any feature film version might work. She suggested it could start with the funeral of her character:
“I could croak it, and it would just start with my body.”
Previously, many of the show’s other starts indicated they’d be very happy to take part in a film version of the show, which scooped audiences and awards on both sides of the Atlantic, following its debut in 2010. However, writer Lord Julian Fellowes would have to come up with something pretty good for the leap to the big screen. The show’s finale, which aired in 2015, appeared to tie off many loose ends, including the marriages of Lady Mary and Lady Edith, a much longed for baby for servants Anna and Bates, and the belated union of downstairs bosses Carson and Mrs Hughes.