Downton Abbey Producer Hints At A Possible Return For Maggie Smith

Downton Abbey

For the longest time, it looked as though Downton Abbey would forever be remembered as a decadent TV series that never quite got the chance to light up the big screen.

But writer-director Julian Fellowes refused to throw the towel in, and his perseverance was duly rewarded when it was announced that the Powers That Be had agreed to roll out the red carpet for the Crawley family, who spend much of the subsequent movie fretting over a Royal visit.

The end product is a true delight for long-time fans of the series, who have welcomed the Downton Abbey movie with open arms – so much so, in fact, that it’s exceeding box office expectations. Or so says producer Gareth Neame:

We said before it came out that if the fans enjoy it and people come and see it, then maybe there could be another one. And I’m pleased to say it’s doing really well. It has been number one in the UK and Ireland ever since it was released, and we’ve been number one in the US as well. So it’s done really well around the world.

There was, however, a poignant moment of sadness towards the end of Downton Abbey, when it was revealed that Violet Crawley (played once again by the inimitable Dame Maggie Smith) had received some bad news from the doctor. To her credit, Smith herself has acknowledged the age of Violet Crawley in the past, and it seems she’s ready to bid farewell to her on-screen character – a character who is, undoubtedly a favorite among the fans – should her diagnosis prove severe.

But, as producer Gareth Neame explains, Downton Abbey has experienced its fair share of medical blunders in the past:

Well, we’ll see. There is a big matter at the end of the film that takes us in a slightly different direction. There have been misdiagnoses before, so you never know.

After three weekends at the box office, Downton Abbey has amassed over $134 million across all territories. It’s certainly enough to fuel a sequel, though whether Smith will reprise her role as Neame suggests is another question entirely.