The Downton Abbey movie sequel is reportedly set to start filming over the summer, it was claimed on Tuesday.
According to reports from The Mirror, the highly-anticipated follow-up to the 2019 flick will get underway in June, when the government plans to lift lockdown restrictions if their roadmap remains in place.
It was also claimed that those behind-the-scenes were keen to make sure the film would be ready for a December release, as a ‘festive treat’ for fans.
Exciting: Downton Abbey movie’s sequel ‘is set to start filming in the summer and be released at Christmas’, it was reported on Tuesday (Elizabeth McGovern and Hugh Bonneville pictured)
A source told the publication: ‘Everyone is hoping the June 21 date for the end of the pandemic holds. The crew dates are being fixed and the team are going into prep for a summer shoot.
‘The plan is to turn it around quickly and release the film as a festive treat in December.’
MailOnline has contacted spokespeople at Universal Pictures for comment.
Last month, Hugh Bonneville revealed he’s seen a script for a Downton Abbey film sequel, saying it’s likely to happen once Covid is ‘under control in a sensible way’.
Not long: According to reports, filming will get underway on June 21 and ‘the plan is to turn it around quickly and release the film as a festive treat’ (Dame Maggie Smith pictured)
The actor, 57, who plays Lord Grantham in the movie and previous series of the hit period drama, chatted about plans for another film on The Zoe Ball Breakfast Show.
He told the BBC Radio 2 show: ‘Here’s the deal, if everybody who is offered a vaccine takes a vaccine, we can make a movie, we will make a movie.’
The actor, who is a volunteer marshal at a Covid vaccination centre, told Zoe he’s seen a script for the film and added: ‘The planets are circling. They are beginning to get into alignment.
‘There is a thing called coronavirus knocking around and until that is under control in a sensible way, we are not going to be able to get all those ducks in a row.’
Up for it: Last month, Hugh revealed he’s seen a script for a Downton Abbey film sequel, saying it’s likely to happen once Covid is ‘under control in a sensible way’
He added: ‘But there is certainly the intention to do it. We would love to do it. We are desperate to do it.’
Hugh also said that he thinks audiences would ‘enjoy’ another Downton movie after the ‘mess we have been through’ in the past year.
The Downton Abbey movie saw beloved characters Robert (Hugh) and Cora Crawley (Elizabeth McGovern) told that they will be visited by the King and Queen and the estate have to prepare for the royal visit.
Fingers crossed: Hugh said ‘if everybody who is offered a vaccine takes a vaccine, we can make a movie’ (pictured Michelle Dockery as Mary and Elizabeth as Cora in the 2019 film)
However the family have to deal with a number of set backs and problems along the way including a suspected assassin attempt.
Cast members including Matthew Goode, Laura Carmichael, Jim Carter, Michelle Dockery, Dame Maggie Smith all returned for the film.
The Daily Mail revealed that Maggie Smith, who plays Violet Crawley, and French actress Nathalie Baye will appear together in Downton 2.
Downton 2 will be the Dowager Countess of Grantham’s last hurrah. The theatrical dame has been delighting Downton fans since the series, created by Julian Fellowes, launched on ITV back in 2010.
In the new Downton film, Ms Baye will play an old friend of Violet’s who comes to visit her. Of course, the countess will be surrounded, as usual, by her family — including Hugh’s Lord Grantham and Elizabeth McGovern as his wife Cora.
Michelle Dockery’s Lady Mary and husband Henry (Matthew Goode) will be centre stage, too; along with her sister, Lady Edith, played by Laura Carmichael.
Interesting: The sequel is thought to be Dowager Countess Violet Crawley’s last hurrah and will see her friend come to visit (Maggie pictured in character with Imelda Staunton)