Downton Abbey film sequel release delayed until late spring

The release of the highly anticipated sequel to the Downton Abbey film has been delayed.

The forthcoming period drama, titled Downton Abbey: A New Era, was due to arrive in cinemas on March 18 but has been pushed back to April 29.

Dame Maggie Smith, Hugh Bonneville, Laura Carmichael, Jim Carter, Michelle Dockery and Elizabeth McGovern will all be reprising their roles.

Actors Hugh Dancy, Laura Haddock, Nathalie Baye and Dominic West are also joining the cast.

The sequel will see the beloved characters go on a grand journey to the South of France to uncover the mystery of the Dowager Countess’ newly inherited villa.

First look at Downton Abbey film
Hugh Bonneville and Michelle Dockery will reprise their roles (Ben Blackall/Universal)

Downton Abbey began life as a TV series, airing on ITV from 2010 to 2015 and following the fortunes of the aristocratic Crawley family and their downstairs servants at a Yorkshire country estate.

The first film, released in 2019, followed a royal visit to the Crawley family and Downton staff.

Show creator Julian Fellowes returned to pen the script for the follow-up, while Simon Curtis, whose credits include My Week With Marilyn, directed it.

Downton Abbey: A New Era will now open in UK cinemas on April 29 and US cinemas on May 20.