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Lily James Won't Return for 'Downton Abbey' Movie - Here's the Reason Why

Lily James will not be reprising her role of Lady Rose MacClare for the Downton Abbey movie!

The 29-year-old actress confirmed the news herself in a new interview.

“I spoke to Laura [Carmichael] not long ago and was texting Michelle [Dockery] about Love Island and it’s going to be really exciting. And the whole gang is coming back,” Lily told People. She said it wasn’t her busy schedule that is causing her character to miss the reunion.

“My character Rose moved off to New York, so it would be farfetched to bring her back,” she continued. “I would have loved to have come back for a scene, but for a movie it can’t be like a Christmas special and it needs to be a focused storyline. There was no space for Rose.”

It was announced earlier this week that the Downton Abbey movie is officially in the works with the original cast set to return.

'Downton Abbey' Movie Production in the Works - Original Cast to Return!

Downton Abbey is becoming a movie!

Focus Features announced the exciting news on Friday (July 13) that the company has set production with Carnival Films on a film from the hit television series – and the principal cast is all set to return.

The show’s screenplay writer Julian Fellowes is also returning as a co-producer. Brian Percival, who directed the pilot, will direct the film.

The original television series, which ran for six seasons, followed the lives of the Crawley family and the servants who worked for them at the turn of the 20th century in an Edwardian English country home.

“When the television series drew to a close it was our dream to bring the millions of global fans a movie and now, after getting many stars aligned, we are shortly to go into production. Julian’s script charms, thrills and entertains and in Brian Percival’s hands we aim to deliver everything that one would hope for as Downton comes to the big screen,” said Carnival exec Gareth Neame.

“Since the series ended, fans of Downton have long been waiting for the Crawley family’s next chapter. We’re thrilled to join this incredible group of filmmakers, actors and craftspeople, led by Julian Fellowes and Gareth Neame, in bringing back the world of Downton to the big screen,” added Focus exec Peter Kujawski.

Production will begin later this summer.

Joanne Froggatt Gives Update on 'Downton Abbey' Movie

Joanne Froggatt has something to say about those Downton Abbey movie rumors!

While promoting her new show Liar with co-star Ioan Gruffudd at the TCA summer press panel on Saturday (July 29), the 36-year-old actress said that she hasn’t heard anything new on the potential movie.

“Selfishly, it would be great to get together for ten weeks and have a little reunion,” Joanne told Variety. “But in all honesty, I have no idea. I absolutely have no idea. There’s been talk, there’s been conversations, but nothing has happened. We’re all sort of leaving it up to the gods. We have no information.”

Since popular show ended back in 2015, rumors have been swirling that that a movie would be coming soon – and the cast is totally on board.

“I think we’d all like to do it,” Joanne said. “For me, the show finished in a great place and a great time. We finished on a high. Everything must come to an end, all good things must come to an end. I was very happy with where we left it.”

FYI: Joanne is wearing a Johanna Ortiz dress.

10+ pictures inside of Joanne Froggatt at the TCA press tour

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'Downton Abbey' Movie Could Begin Production Next Year!

The Downton Abbey movie is currently in development, and it’s been revealed that the film will start production in 2018.

“There’s a movie in the works. It’s been in the works for some time,” Michael Edelstein, president at NBCUniversal International Studios, told the AP. “We are working on getting the script right and then we’ve got to figure out how to get the (cast) together. Because as you know, people go on and do other things. But we’re hopeful to make a movie sometime next year.”

It’s not confirmed who would definitely return from the cast for the movie. Stay tuned!

Michelle Dockery Hints at Possible 'Downton Abbey' Movie

Michelle Dockery is giving Downton Abbey fans some hope!

The 34-year-old Good Behavior actress teased that a movie could still happen in the future.

“I think there is potential for a film,” Michelle told U.K.’s The Telegraph. “That is something I would wholeheartedly consider, so we will see. It may not be over yet.”

She added, “The thing that I miss the most are my cast members. But we are all still very close.”

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