Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes says he ‘doesn’t mind’ if the franchise has ‘run its course’

Virgin Radio

5 May 2022, 12:48

(L-R) Julian Fellowes, Downton Abbey: A New Era poster

Credit: Getty / Universal Pictures

Fans love the latest adventure in the Downton Abbey saga, A New Era, but this movie spell the end of the beloved franchise?

The brains behind the period drama, Julian Fellowes, has been at the helm of Downton since its inception in 2010, and has hinted that after a decade of stories with the likes of Hugh Bonneville and Maggie Smith, he’s happy with whatever happens next, even if it does mean the end. 

He told Sky News: “I don't know the answer, the truth is if they want more and the cast want to do more, then I'm sure we'll find a way of delivering more.

"But I don't mind if it's run its course, I think that's fair enough, too. And if we've given some enjoyment to people over the years, then that makes me very happy. I'm a fairly simple soul really."

Downton Abbey: A New Era was released only in cinemas in April, but Fellowes also discussed the new TV and film landscape now that streaming services are providing cinema experiences at home. 

He added: “I choose to think I'm living through a very interesting period rather than a period that's driving me nuts, but you can't know how something is going to be in five years' time...

"I mean, already we're giving Oscars to films, in inverted commas, that have shown in a cinema for a week and are really made for television release. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? I don't know, I couldn't answer you."

Meanwhile, the glittering UK premiere for Downton Abbey: A New Era took place last month, and while attending the star-studded event, Elizabeth McGovern, who reprised her role as Cora Crawley, said this latest movie is ‘better’ than the 2019 original. 

While chatting exclusively to, Elizabeth teased that fans will be over the moon with the new story. 

She told us: “I really feel particularly proud of this movie. I think it’s really even better than the first one which is really hard to do. So all in all it’s a happy feeling.”

While fans certainly wish to see how the Crawley’s get on throughout the later years, it's not something Elizabeth can see continuing forever.

While keeping coy on any third films, Elizabeth did explain: “I don’t think you can keep something at the level that Downton has been forever, it runs out of steam. So, personally I hope we stop before we run out of steam.”

Downton Abbey: A New Era is out in cinemas now.