‘Iconic’ character to be killed off in Downton Abbey film sequel, and it better not be Dame Maggie Smith

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An ‘iconic’ Downton Abbey character will be killed off in the film sequel – and it better not be the Dowager Countess of Grantham, as played by Dame Maggie Smith.

According to reports, the tear-jerking scenes for the second film, which also follows on from six series of the hit TV period drama, have already been filmed.

 A source has claimed that the show’s creator Julian Fellowes ‘has made this death so poignant’, which surely points to one of the show’s most integral or beloved characters?

The insider added to The Sun: ‘Those who have seen the scenes said they are so emotional.

‘They will really leave fans in floods. It’s heartbreak at Highclere Castle and there won’t be a dry eye in cinemas.’

No clues have been given as to who will die, but alongside panic over the Dowager Countess’ fate, other fan favourites and show heavyweights include retired butler Carson (Jim Carter), Lord Grantham (Hugh Bonneville) and Lady Mary Crawley (Michelle Dockery).

There’s also housekeeper Mrs Hughes (Phyllis Logan), Lord Grantham’s valet Bates (Brendan Coyle) and cook Mrs Patmore (Lesley Nicol).

The Downton Abbey sequel’s title, Downton Abbey: A New Era, and teaser footage were unveiled at CinemaCon this week, almost two years after the first film’s release.

It’s set for a March 2022 release, and The Crown’s Dominic West, Hannibal’s Hugh Dancy, Laura Haddock and Nathalie Baye have all been announced as joining the series’ returning stars for the sequel.

Covid-based delays saw the film pushed back from its planned Christmas 2021 release.

Focus Features are producing the film along with Gareth Neame’s Carnival Films with Simon Curtis directing.

Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes has once again written the screenplay and is producing with Gareth and Liz Trubridge.

Upon the sequel’s announcement, Neame said: ‘After a very challenging year with so many of us separated from family and friends, it is a huge comfort to think that better times are ahead and that we will be reunited with the much beloved characters of Downton Abbey.’

Downton Abbey: A New Era is set for release on March 18, 2022.

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