With us looking towards the Downton Abbey moving coming in 2019, there are many questions on our mind … including why ITV and the show’s producers have not thought about expanding this property in some sort of larger form?
When you think about the series itself, it is arguably the biggest crossover hit for a British series in ages. Not only did it spawn huge global ratings, but it also built a merchandising empire as the series set up the Grantham family way of life almost as a form of idealism. Everyone wanted to feel a little more regal upon watching the show, which painted the stately family in often a favorable light.
Yet, this upcoming movie is really the only substantial thing they have done with the property since the series ended, with some of the reason for that being that many of the cast members have moved on to other projects. That even includes writer Jullian Fellowes at times, as he has been working quietly on The Gilded Age, a ten-episode drama for NBC that could air in 2019. (Note that we say could, given that this series has been in development for a rather-long time now.)
Depending on the success of the upcoming Downton Abbey movie though, we could see the franchise veering off in a few different directions depending on what the creative team wants to do.
More movies – This seems to be the likeliest approach, since it would allow some of the cast members a chance to go off and do other things while also reuniting every few years. This would most likely have the largest budget to clear and its ability to return would be based mostly on the success of the first film.
Another season – We do think that Downton Abbey lives best in the world of television, and we do wonder as a result of that what the merit would be to doing some sort of additional season with at least the majority of the cast on board. It would probably be the hardest to schedule, but also potentially the most lucrative.
Spin-off series – We’re honestly shocked that this didn’t get more consideration years ago, given that you could take a few characters and tell a story all about them. Or, you could simply find another manor house and tell a similar story with a different batch of characters. Maybe Fellowes considers The Gilded Age in some ways to be the spiritual successor to Downton Abbey, even if it is set on the other side of the Atlantic and may not have the same lavish charm.
Obviously, it will be some time until we hear more about the Downton Abbey franchise’s future, given that the movie is not even scheduled for release until the fall of 2019.
Do you want to see the Downton Abbey franchise continue for some time on the other side of the movie? Share in the comments.