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'Downton Abbey' sequel trailer arrives

Los Angeles, Nov 16 (IANS) Just over two years after the first 'Downton Abbey' feature film hit cinema screens and became a box office hit, its makers have unveiled the first glimpses of its sequel.

The trailer for 'Downton Abbey: A New Era', which is being given its debut in the US ahead of screenings of Kenneth Branagh's Belfast sees the Downton residents returning to their usual upper-class high jinx. There's a wedding (driver-turned-heir Tom Branson's second following the death of his beloved Sybil) and a seafaring adventure that takes the family to the French Riviera after a big reveal from the Dowager Countess, played by Maggie Smith, reports

"Years ago, before you were born, I met a man. And now I've come into the possession of a villa in the South of France," the matriarch of the family explains, to which Mary (Michelle Dockery) responds in shock, "What?"

Written by creator Julian Fellowes and with Simon Curtis taking over as the director, the second movie in the franchise has somehow assembled the impressive star cast of 'Downton Abbey' once again.

Returning castmembers include Hugh Bonneville, Laura Carmichael, Jim Carter, Brendan Coyle, Dockery, Kevin Doyle, Joanne Froggatt, Harry Hadden-Paton, Robert James-Collier, Allen Leech, Phyllis Logan, Elizabeth McGovern, Sophie McShera, Tuppence Middleton, Lesley Nicol, Imelda Staunton, Penelope Wilton and Smith.

Smith's appearance in the film will likely be a major source of interest, after the Dowager Countess implied that her time was coming to an end at the conclusion of the first film. She was notably kept out of the initial teaser for 'Downton Abbey: A New Era' trailer.

Joining this principal cast list for the new film are Hugh Dancy, Laura Haddock, Nathalie Baye, Dominic West and Jonathan Zaccaï.

'Downton Abbey: A New Era' is produced by Gareth Neame, Liz Trubridge and Fellowes for Carnival Films, is due to land in theatres on March 18, 2022.