Downton Abbey Star Suggests Franchise Has “Run Its Course” After A New Era


Downton Abbey has had a long and exciting run.

We had six seasons of, holiday-themed specials, and two movies.

Hugh Bonneville, who has been with the franchise since the beginning, thinks the franchise could be over after the latest movie.

“I suspect, if there is [a new series], it would be a reboot. An origin story or something like that,” the star said to The Hollywood Reporter of rumors of a TV comeback.

The star said that Bridgerton highlighted that “there’s clearly an appetite for these sorts of shows.”

“Bridgerton has been a magnificent success,” he continued.

“So if you can capture the younger generation to enjoy people in frocks, then go for it.”

Bonneville went on to state that it is “immensely unlikely” the original cast would return for future projects.

“It’s seven years since we did the TV show. Returning as we did for those two films was really lovely, but I think there’ll be a whole new generation, like Star Wars spinning off all over the place,” he shared with the outlet.

As for whether he would return if asked, Bonneville shared the following:

“I literally hadn’t thought of it. I have no idea. I’d never say never. I’d do anything for the right money.”

However, Bonneville said that he believes the franchise in its current form as run it’s course.

“I’m never gonna second guess the future, but did think for a while, actually, yeah, why not, let’s keep going.”

“But I do think it could get a bit thin. I think the second film was such a joyous one and such a good note on which to end the story. And it does feel like it can end.”

Downton Abbey: A New Era reunites original cast members Bonneville, Laura Carmichael, Jim Carter, Raquel Cassidy, Brendan Coyle, Michelle Dockery, Kevin Doyle, and Michael Fox.

Also returning is Joanne Froggatt, Harry Hadden-Paton, Robert James-Collier, Allen Leech, Phyllis Logan, Elizabeth McGovern, Sophie McShera, Tuppence Middleton, Lesley Nichol, Maggie Smith, Imelda Staunton, and Penelope Wilton.

The new movie follows the Crawleys and their staff as they welcome a movie crew and their glamorous stars to Downton for the filming of a new silent movie, while other members of the family go on a grand adventure to a villa in the south of France to uncover a mystery about the Dowager Countess and her past.

What are your thoughts on Bonneville’s comments?

Do you think the franchise should rest now, or do you think there are more stories to be told? 

Hit the comments.

Catch the entire series and both movies on Peacock.

Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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