Downton Abbey premiered in 2010 and ended in 2016 after running for six successful seasons, making it one of the greatest English drama series of all time. The period drama, which followed the lives of the aristocratic Crawley family, launched the careers of several young actors.

After more than two years of the show’s end, on 13 July 2018, the producers relieved Crawley family fans when they confirmed that a feature-length film was under production. The original principal cast began production in September and recently finished filming.

Not Returning to Downton Abbey

While you are happy after getting the movie news, you may be disappointed to learn that not every character from the series has headed back to Highclere Castle. Today we bring you a list of actors who will and will not appear in the movie.

Ed Speleers (Jimmy Kent)

Ed Speleers wearing a suit with a bow tie

Ed Speleers, who appeared as Jimmy Kent for three seasons, will not return in the movie. He said on Sunday Brunch,

“I didn’t get the call, unfortunately. To be fair, I’m doing Rain Man so I wasn’t able to do it. I don’t think it would be right for my character to come back anyway.”

Ed is currently doing the UK tour of drama Rain Man with Mathew Horne and recently landed the role of Stephen Bonnet in the fourth season of Outlander.

Lily James (Lady Rose MacClare)

Lily, who joined the show as a recurring cast in season 3, was a series regular in seasons 4 and 5 and had just guest appearances in season 6, won’t be reprising her role as Lady Rose MacClare. She said,

“I’m sadly not, but I’m so excited for it — I’m going to be front row. My character Rose moved off to New York, so it would be farfetched to bring her back. I would have loved to have come back for a scene, but for a movie it can’t be like a Christmas special and it needs to be a focused storyline. There was no space for Rose.”

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She appeared in a 2018 musical film, The Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again and is set to appear in an untitled Danny Boyle/Richard Curtis film in 2019.

Returning to Downton Abbey

Downton Abbey cast
  • Hugh Bonneville as Robert Crawley, 7th Earl of Grantham
  • Laura Carmichael as Edith Pelham, Marchioness of Hexham
  • Raquel Cassidy as Phyllis Baxter
  • Brendan Coyle as John Bates
  • Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary Talbot
  • Kevin Doyle as Joseph Moseley
  • Joanne Froggatt as Anna Bates
  • Matthew Goode as Henry Talbot
  • Rob James-Collier as Thomas Barrow
  • Allen Leech as Thomas Branson
  • Phyllis Logan as Elsie Hughes
  • Elizabeth McGovern as Cora Crawley, Countess of Grantham
  • Sophie McShera as Daisy Mason
  • Lesley Nicol as Beryl Patmore
  • Maggie Smith as Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham
  • Penelope Wilton as Isobel Grey, Baroness Merton
  • Douglas Reith as Lord Merton

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Till now, Lily James and Ed Speleers are the only two actors who have publicly confirmed that they are not reprising their roles in the movie. However, it is unclear whether other actors like Matthew Goode, Lesley Nicol, Jim Carter, and Sophie McShera will return for the big-screen adventure.

Newcomers to Downton Abbey

  • Geraldine James as Mary of Teck
  • Kate Phillips as Mary, Princess Royal and Countess of Harewood
  • Max Brown
  • Imelda Staunton
  • Tuppence Middleton
  • Stephen Campbell Moore
  • David Haig
  • Simon Jones

The long-awaited movie is set to be released in the UK on September 13, 2019, and in the US on September 20.


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