It has been almost three years since hit series Downton Abbey came to an end, but fans of the show won’t have to wait much longer to find out what the Earl of Grantham and his family have been up to as a feature film has been announced.
And three of the show’s biggest stars sent fans into a frenzy on Monday as they reunited in Los Angeles, USA, ahead of starting filming for the highly anticipated movie.
Michelle Dockery, who played Lady Mary in all six series of the ITV period drama, shared a sweet photo on Instagram as she beamed alongside her former on screen husband Dan Stevens and TV brother in law Allan Leech.
The 36-year-old actress captioned the photo “Dorks” as she grinned alongside Stevens, who played Matthew Crawley in the first three seasons, and Leech who played loveable Irish Estate Manager Tom Branson.
Fans were delighted to see the cast members back together with one describing Dockery’s photo as “Downton heaven” and another said it had made them “insanely happy”.
The sweet snap was also shared by Stevens which triggered speculation that he could be making an unexpected return to Downton for the movie, despite his character being tragically killed off in a car accident during the 2012 Christmas special.
Hinting at his return, he wrote: “Should Matthew have a mustache for the #DowntonAbbeyMovie…? Vote below…” (sic)
One fan wrote: “Is cousin Matthew back from the deaddddd.” Another excited viewer said: “Matthew is in the movie!!!!!!”
While another said they’d also like to see the return of another fan favourite, Lady Sybil: “This better be happening. Now if we could just get Sybil back!”
The long-awaited Downton Abbey movie, which will be written by the show’s creator Julian Fellowes, was confirmed last month, with production tipped to be starting soon, as the cast began sharing throwback images of themselves in costume.
Actress Joanne Froggatt, who played ladies maid Anna Bates in the show, shared a photo with Dockery and Dame Maggie Smith who famously acted out the role of the Dowager on the show, which showed them all laughing together behind the scenes.
She wrote: “Delighted to announce we’re getting the band back together! #DowntonMovie #DowntonAbbey.”
The TV series won three Golden Globes and 15 Emmys from 69 nominations during its run, and its huge success right across the world has been credited for starting a new love of period dramas.