Saturday, June 15, 2024

Watch Trailer for “Downton Abbey: A New Era” Which Seems to Swap Out Matthew Goode for Hugh Dancy


In the first trailer for “Downton Abbey: A New Era,” sharp eyed fans will notice the absence of Matthew Goode as Lady Mary’s second husband. He seems to have been replaced or substituted for with Hugh Dancy, who’s getting a lot of work these days (he’s a regular on the “Law & Order” revival). Good for him but bad for Goode, who only made a brief appearance in the first “Downton” movie. (He may do it again since Goode was obviously too busy playing Robert Evans in the “Godfather” mini series, “The Offer.”)

“A New Era” looks like a middle film in a trilogy, so it’s not over. Violet (Maggie Smith) didn’t die from cancer after all, but announces that she inherited a villa in the South of France. This gives everyone a chance for a trip to a sunny, warm locale away from Downton. But Mary stays behind to watch over a film crew making a talking picture on location.

It seems like Branson finally marries, securing the Downton fortune for good. But the family trip suggests that Violet inherited the villa because what? One of her children was fathered by its owner? She used 23 & Me? Or talked to Henry Louis Gates on PBS?

Anyway, this won’t be the last “Downton” movie If it just makes $75 million and does well on Peacock, there will be a concluding chapter. Everyone involved will deny it. There will be huffy British protestations. And then, viola, one last chapter with teenage kids facing the stock market crash and Great Depression.

But not yet!

PS Julian Fellowes’ “The Gilded Age” has been renewed by HBO for a second season. Last night’s fourth episode seemed like an improvement on the clunkiness of the opening chapters. The lighting is still harshly networky, some of the actors’ cadences are enough to kill you, and the opening music and montage look like they’re from “Dynasty.” But progress is there. I love the story of Peggy Scott nd her family. That’s a winner. And it’s nice to see Kelli O’Hara, a Broadway giant, finally having a non singing onscreen hit. But if she even hums, all those people are going to lose their minds. same for Audra McDonald. Then what?

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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