Monday, May 20, 2024

“Downton Abbey 3” Starts Production, First in Series without Maggie Smith: Final Chapter?


“Downton Abbey 3” has begun production in England.

This is the first “DA” without Maggie Smith as the Dowager Countess. Her absence may be noticeable, but Imelda Staunton has slowly moved in to succeed her in scenes with Penelope Wilton.

“DA 3” may bring the end to a series and two movies that began a hundred years ago.

The great Simon Curtis is returning to direct, as he did chapter 2. He’s already a member of the “Downton” family, married to Elizabeth McGovern (Lady Cora Grantham, aka Crawley).

For this round, Oscar nominee Paul Giamatti will return as Cora’s brother from the States. If you remember, it’s their family that has the money. (Their mother was played by Shirley MacLaine.)

Everyone from the cast is returning, plus they’ve added Joely Richardson, Alessandro Nivola, Simon Russell Beale, and Arty Froushan.

But there’s no mention of Matthew Goode as Mary’s race car driver husband. Something is wrong with Goode’s relationship to this company. He appears for a few minutes or less in each film.

It’s still 1925 in “Downton Abbey” unless creator Julian Fellowes moves it ahead a bit. The cut off should be 1929, when the world economy crashes, and the Downton gang would be in peril financially. No one wants to see that.

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.

Read more

In Other News