The release of the new Downton Abbey film has been delayed again 4 months ago

The release of the new Downton Abbey film has been delayed again

You're still cordially invited to the grandest escape of the year... just a bit later.

The release of the highly-anticipated sequel to the first Downton Abbey film has been delayed for the second time.

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Downton Abbey: A New Era was due to arrive in cinemas on March 18 but has now been pushed back over a month and will premiere on 29 April.

The film was originally set to be released at Christmas before being moved to March of this year.

No official reasoning for the delay has been given but, according to Deadline, the movie has the potential to bring older audiences back to cinemas so Focus Features, Universal International and Carnival Films have decided to release the title at the best possible point in the hopes that Covid eases.

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A New Era features Hugh Bonneville, Elizabeth McGovern, Dame Maggie Smith and others from the original cast as the Crawleys visit the South of France to uncover the mystery of the Dowager Countess’ newly inherited villa.

It also sees new additions Hugh Dancy, Laura Haddock, Nathalie Baye and Dominic West join the cast.

While the delay is disappointing for many fans, it seems the long wait will be worth it as Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes has promised the film is just as brilliant as the award-winning TV series.

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"I'm pleased with it actually, I think it works pretty well," he said on ITV's Love Your Weekend. "It's a feel-good movie, and I don't know about you, but I could use a bit of feel-good right now.

"There's a kind of fun in getting the club together again because it's been a long time, particularly for the young ones – their careers have changed entirely over this period."

In the meantime, fans can get their period drama fix by tuning in to Fellowes' new show, The Gilded Age, which is now available to stream on NOW.