It’s hard to imagine how Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes would have reacted in 2010 if you had told him that twelve years later he would be releasing a second film for the perpetually-popular series. Would he have been delighted or appalled?
In an ever-changing, ever-uncertain world, there’s something comforting about seeing the Crawleys back on screen, evolving yet staying ever the same. The new trailer for Downton Abbey: A New Era works in the same way. While it promises novelty, the trailer itself illustrates those well worn Dowton Abbey quirks.
The trailer speeds by at breakneck pace in an attempt to both hint at plot and get every single character of the large cast into a less than three minute long spot. The Dowager Countess (memorably played by Dame Maggie Smith) is quippy per usual, this time divulging that she’s been hiding a villa in the south of France (how convenient for a sequel). Her son, Robert Crawley (Hugh Bonneville), is stunned at this unknown revelation. Although judging from Bonneville’s tan in this scene, it was clearly filmed post-French villa. His daughter, Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery), is still cool as a cucumber. Everyone’s favorite Irishman, Tom Branson, makes a few appearances with his new wife. We sweep downstairs to hear from the ever-traditional Mr. Carson and the excitable Daisy about how Lady Mary will allow a film crew to film a movie at Downton, leading to some meta lines about films between the Dowager and Isobel (Penelope Wilton).
Although Downton Abbey: A New Era implies change and modernity, it seems the producers, cast, and crew have figured out that their most successful angle is nostalgia and familiarity. It’s certainly come (fallen?) a long way since it’s daring moves to kill off main cast members.
Catch Downton Abbey: A New Era in theaters on May 20 and check out the trailer below.