'Downton Abbey: A New Era' first trailer features major Violet Crawley revelation

Violet Crawley in Downton Abbey
Violet has a shock for everyone in the new 'Downton' film. (Image credit: ITV)

The first trailer for the new Downton Abbey movie has landed, including yet another killer line by icon Maggie Smith.

In the teaser clip from Downton Abbey: A New Era, Violet Crawley (Maggie Smith) reveals a jaw-dropping piece of news that leaves her son Robert (Hugh Bonneville) raising his eyebrows.

“Years ago, before you were born, I met a man...,” says Violet, with a glint in her eye.

“And now I’ve come into possession of a villa in the south of France”.

To which Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery), simply exclaims “What?!”

Violet adds: “And with that, I will say goodnight and leave you to discuss my mysterious past.”

The exchange perfectly sets up the film’s plot, which will see the Crawleys head off to France to visit their lavish new villa. The makers have even given Downton’s famous theme tune a tweak to give it a French flavor.

The trailer also features widower Tom Branson’s wedding to maid Lucy Smith (Tuppence Middleton). We know the wedding is a success as Lucy Smith becomes Lucy Branson on the cast list.

Downton isn’t Downton without Mr. Carson (Jim Carter) who says with a big smile: “The British are coming”.

The trailer goes on to confirm key casting. Beloved characters Thomas Barrow, Mrs. Patmore, Mr. Bates, Daisy Parker, Mr. Molesley, Mr. Carson, Mrs. Hughes, Anna Bates, Andy Parker, and Miss Baxter will all return.

Plus Lord Grantham, Lady Grantham, Lady Mary, the Dowager, Tom Branson, Lucy Branson, Lady Hexham, Lord Hexham, Lady Merton, and Lord Merton.

Actors Hugh Dancy, Laura Haddock, Nathalie Baye, Dominic West, and Jonathan Zaccaï are also joining the cast.

The screenplay has been written by Downton Abbey creator Julia Fellowes, while it's directed by Simon Curtis.

Downton Abbey: A New Era will be released only in theaters on March 18, 2022. It was originally called Downton Abbey 2, but the title has since been changed.

David Hollingsworth

David is the What To Watch Editor and has over 20 years of experience in television journalism. He is currently writing about the latest television and film news for What To Watch.

Before working for What To Watch, David spent many years working for TV Times magazine, interviewing some of television's most famous stars including Hollywood actor Kiefer Sutherland, singer Lionel Richie and wildlife legend Sir David Attenborough. 

David started out as a writer for TV Times before becoming the title's deputy features editor and then features editor. During his time on TV Times, David also helped run the annual TV Times Awards. David is a huge Death in Paradise fan, although he's still failed to solve a case before the show's detective! He also loves James Bond and controversially thinks that Timothy Dalton was an excellent 007.

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