Downton Abbey producer Liz Trubridge has weighed in on the possibility of a second movie – and revealed why she thinks it is about the Crawleys et al. that continue to draw in fans.
The historical drama originally ran for six seasons from 2010 and 2015. And then last summer, a little more than three years after Downton’s doors closed, it was announced a film adaptation was on the way – much to fans’ delight.
Liz, who was a producer on all six seasons of Downton, told Her about how she came to be involved in the series, the challenges of getting the massive numbers of cast members together to film – and whether there could be another film.
Recalling how she first came to be involved with the series, she said:
“I was working on a very small feature film with Julian [Fellowes], it was called from Time to Time. As we were coming to the end of it, he started talking about this thing that he thought he would call Downton Abbey.
“He told me about it and I thought, ‘that sounds very much my scene.’ So, then I got in touch with Garrett Neame – whose company was producing it – and shortly thereafter, I was on board.”
The Downton Abbey movie may have only been announced in summer 2018, but Liz admitted the idea had been being discussed for awhile – during the last season, to be more exact.
However, she explained, that there were a few things that were standing in the way at the time.
“To be honest, we were talking about the possibility of a movie during the last season. [A Downton Abbey movie is] a huge thing – no normal person tries to set up a feature film with 20 main cast.
“To try and get that together, we knew it was going to be a big deal. And we knew that if we were going to do it, we had to justify it – it had to be bigger and better; we had to raise the bar even higher than we had done.
“It took time to get everyone to have a window that coincided. It’s hard enough to do it when you’ve got three or four main cast – and it was a tough deal to get [the Downton Abbey cast] together.
“We couldn’t do it too quickly, anyways. We wanted there to be a gap – and I actually think the time gap is pretty good.
“You can’t leave it too long, otherwise the enthusiasm can go. But I think it’s a good gap – and people are showing signs of being excited about it at the moment, which is great.”
Since it began in 2010, Downton Abbey has captivated audiences across the globe.
And Liz admitted that while it was “hard to know exactly” what it was about the historical drama that fans loved so much, she thinks it may be down to a few particular things.
“I have a suspicion that it’s because we made it at a time where there was a sort of recession worldwide. It’s a feel good piece. There are enough characters for everyone to identify with, or to love to hate.
“And I think there’s one more aspect that goes beyond that. The world we’re in now, it’s all a bit topsy-turvy. Many of our leaders are not very impressive anymore. I think people look for an essential human quality of connectedness.
“I think was Downton has is this message that despite external differences, we are all connected. People are treated properly; they care about each other. I think those things play a part in its appeal.”
Liz also addressed the possibility of a second film – and it looks like it’s good news for Downton Abbey fans.
“It’s a horrible cliché to say, but we genuinely have all become a family – we’ve been together for so long now, and it was great to come back together.
“There are other stories to tell here, and of course – yeah, I think we would all be up for doing another one if it was right. But right now, I just want to make sure this one is received well – and if it is, it’d be great to do another one.
“It’s something, I think, that we’d all love to do.”
Downton Abbey is out in cinemas across Ireland now.