Downton Abbey third movie Imelda Staunton confirms
A still from Downton Abbey (2019)

Imelda Staunton says it’s true — a third and “final” Downton Abbey movie is coming.

The actress plays Lady Maud Bagshaw, lady-in-waiting to the queen and Lord Grantham’s cousin in the first two movies, Downton Abbey (2019) and Downton Abbey: A New Era (2022).

In a new interview on BBC Radio 2’s Zoe Ball Breakfast Show, Staunton confirmed that a third movie is on its way.

Imelda Staunton Confirms Third Downton Abbey Movie

“There will be the final film – there you go,” Staunton said Wednesday on the radio show. “There you go.”

“hat’s pretty huge. I hope we haven’t got you in trouble,” host Zoe Ball answered. But Staunton wasn’t worried: “I don’t care,” she replied.

Downton Abbey was created by Julian Fellowes. The British historical drama follows the Crawley family and their servants, who all live in Downton Abbey, a fictional, Edwardian-era Yorkshire country estate. Taking place between 1912 and 1926, the series starts out with the sinking of the Titanic, which sets up the events of the show as Lord Grantham’s heir is killed in the tragic accident. The ITV series aired from 2010 to 2015, and was followed by the two subsequent films after it ended.

Fellowes previously told Town & Country that he “wouldn’t say no” to a third movie.

“Honestly, I thought the fifth season was the last. Then I thought the sixth was the end of them. Then I thought the first movie was the goodbye. Who knows? If there’s a big demand and everyone wants them back, I suppose I certainly wouldn’t say no,” he said.

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He added that he’s happy to revisit the beloved series if its what audiences want.

“I don’t really think I ever make these decisions. What happened was we made the first film and it did very well; for a week or two, it was the number one film in the world. So, there was a certain interest in revisiting this recipe, and I didn’t fight it,” he said. “Downton has been an extraordinary chapter in my career, and when the world wants more of it, that’s good enough for me. I’ve said goodbye to these characters three or four times, and each time, two years later, I’m back at my desk. But I am pleased with the way it turned out.”

Fellowes also discussed putting Staunton and her real-life husband Jim Carter, who plays Mr. Carson, in a scene together in the second movie.

“Putting Jim and Imelda into a scene, of course, was a kind of joke to be shared with the audience because most of them know—and I thought they did it very, very well. The thing about Downton is that it has always had lines to make you laugh, but not so much as to disturb the reality of what the characters are going through. You don’t want it to go over a line and start turning into a sitcom. You want to always stay this side of that,” he said.

Fellowes is also known for period dramas like The Gilded Age on Hulu and Belgravia on ITV and MGM+.

Staunton is known for playing Queen Elizabeth on the fifth and sixth seasons of Netflix’s The Crown, as well as Professor Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter franchise.

Other Downton Abbey cast members include Michelle Dockery (Defending Jacob) as Lady Mary Crawley, Hugh Bonneville (Notting Hill) as Robert Crawley, Laura Carmichael (The Secrets She Keeps) as Edith Pelham, Maggie Smith (Harry Potter) as Violet Crawley, Elizabeth McGovern as Cora Crawley, Joan Froggatt as Anna Smith, Allen Leech as Tom Branson, Matthew Goode as Henry Talbot, and Rob James-Collier as Thomas Barrow.

Lily James played Lady Rose MacClare in the TV series but did not return for the first two movies.

You can stream Downton Abbey the series with a Britbox, Amazon Prime Video or Peacock subscription. The first Downton Abbey movie is streaming on Netflix, and the second movie is available to stream with a Hulu or Starz subscription.

Main Image: A still from Downton Abbey (2019), Universal, Focus Features.