Focus Features and Carnival Films announced the castings Thursday along with the start of principle photography. The companies had announced on July 13 that the original principal cast — including Michelle Dockery, Elizabeth McGovern, Maggie Smith, and Hugh Bonneville — from the television series would return for the movie.
Julian Fellowes, who created the series and wrote the film’s screenplay, will produce alongside Gareth Neame and Liz Trubridge. Brian Percival, who directed the series’ pilot, will executive produce the movie, with Michael Engler (“30 Rock”) directing. Nigel Marchant will also return to executive produce.
The television series followed the lives of the fictional Crawley family and the servants who worked for them at the turn of the 20th century in an Edwardian English country home. During its six seasons from 2010 to 2015, the series won 15 Primetime Emmy Awards and 69 Emmy nominations in total, making “Downton Abbey” the most-nominated non-U.S. television show in the history of the Emmys.
Maggie Smith won three Emmys for her supporting role as Violet Crawley. Percival and Fellowes won Emmys for the first season, when the series won for outstanding miniseries or movie.
Neame, Carnival’s executive chairman, said, “We are excited that photography is about to start on the long awaited film and that the beloved main characters will be joined by such exceptional actors playing new roles unique to the movie.”
The movie is a Carnival Films production. Focus Features and Universal Pictures International are distributing.
Staunton was nominated for an Academy Award for “Vera Drake” and starred in “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.” James stars in “Anne with an E.” Jones’ credits include “The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy” and “Brideshead Revisited.” Haig appeared in “Killing Eve” and Middleton starred in “War and Peace.” Phillips appeared in “The Crown,” and Moore starred in “History Boys.”