Rumours of a Downton Abbey film have been utterly persistent since the show took its last televisual bow.
Though nothing has officially been confirmed, there’s been increasing evidence something is in the pipeline between both the creators and actors; with the cinematic adaptation now potentially having landed its biggest player in the form of the Dowager Countess of Grantham herself, Violet Crawley, AKA Maggie Smith.
The MailOnline is reporting Smith has officially signed on for the film, as revealed by actor Michael Fox, who played Andy Parker on the series. “She elevates it to something else, because she is such a legend and a national treasure,” Parker said, while attending the red carpet of BBC America’s BAFTA Party in West Hollywood. “It becomes a different show and she puts a stamp on it of quality.”
“She is one of those actorsyou look at, and say, ‘How on earth does do they do it?'”, he continued. “Everyone says Maggie gets the best lines – they are funny on the page, but she makes them exceptional – she is really special. The film without her would still be good with all the other actors, but it puts a stamp of quality with her in it.”
However, Maggie Smith herself has said in the past that she doesn’t think her involvement would be logically possible, considering the show’s timeline; telling The Graham Norton Show, “By the time we finished, she must have been about 110. It couldn’t go on and on, it just didn’t make sense.”
Jim Carter, who plays butler Mr. Carson on the show, had previously revealed that a script was currently in the works; though no details of its plot or cast had been confirmed.
That said, it does seem incredibly unlikely any cinematic version would actually go ahead without Smith’s involvement; she’s always been the anchoring star name to the series, and even snapped up an Emmy at this year’s ceremony.
You can read the full list of Emmy winners here.