One of the leading stars of Downton Abbey has revealed Dame Maggie Smith could reprise her role as Violet Crawley after it was revealed a sequel to the show’s hit film is in the works.
Lesley Nicol, also known as Downton cook Mrs Patmore in the long-running period drama, confirmed talks for a second film are underway following the success of the first movie which premiered last month.
Speaking exclusively to DailyMailTV, Nicol said: ‘I am allowed to say there absolutely is a desire and they are trying to round the troops up to do it, yes.’
The actress refused to rule out the possibility of fan favorite Dame Maggie Smith making an appearance, even after it was believe the first film would be her last.
Smith initially refused to participate in the feature film insisting a move beyond the series’ six-season run was ‘milking it’.
But creator and executive producer Julian Fellowes spent 18 months persuading her to return, before giving her what critics described as the ‘best lines’.
Actress Lesley Nicol, known for her role as Downton cook Mrs Patmore in the long-running period drama, has confirmed to DailyMailTV a sequel to the Downtown Abbey film is in the works
Nicol also refused to rule out whether fan favorite Dame Maggie Smith could make a return as Violet Crawley, despite the actress’s reluctance to join the first film
But even after the off-screen drama Nicol believes Smith could return as the grand dame of Downton: ‘Who the heck knows? It looks like, if you’ve seen the film, it looks like that’s bye, bye Maggie, but who the heck knows? We don’t know.’
Asked about what chances she would pin on the two time Oscar winner returning to Highclere Castle, she smiled: ‘I wouldn’t begin to guess, because I wouldn’t rule it out, and I would say it’s 50/50.
‘She might not. It depends what Julian does and what he wants to do and what she wants to do.’
The British period drama, which ran for six seasons until 2015, returned last month as a feature film, grossing $164million worldwide
Nicol said the cast and crew have been ‘blown away’ by the positive reaction to the latest film, which has already amassed $164million worldwide.
‘We had no idea it would be such a hit. I don’t think any of us projected anyway, because there’s no point in doing that,’ she said.
‘It really is safer just to wait and see. But we were very anxious because there was such a build up, as you know.
‘The bottomline would have been if the fans were disappointed, we would have been mortified, because that’s what this movie is about.
‘It was demanded by them, it had to be enjoyed by them and thank God it has been, so we are all genuinely blown away.’
‘We did not see it coming that we would beat Brad Pitt and Rambo. That’s just out of this world, really.’
Focus Features, which is owned by Universal, is already talking to show creator Julian Fellowes on plot ideas for a sequel
Hollywood trade critics have predicted that Downton is on course for Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations in the Best Picture category at the very least.
Others say Hugh Bonneville, Michelle Dockery, Allun Leach and Smith could be up for best actor awards.
DailyMail.com was the first to break the news of the movie project in 2015 when Fellowes and Neame revealed that the film plan was in place.
We have learned that Focus Features, which is owned by Universal, is already talking to Fellowes on plot ideas for a sequel.
Nicol spoke to DailyMailTV as she supported the International Myeloma Foundation’s 13th Annual Comedy Celebration at The Beverly Hilton Hotel.
The event, hosted by Ray Romano, benefits the Peter Boyle Research Fund and supports the IMF’s Black Swan Research Initiative, a groundbreaking and collaborative global project aimed at developing the first definitive cure for myeloma.
For more info on BSRI, visit bsri.myeloma.org. Please visit comedy.myeloma.org or to donate text COMEDY to 41444 and click the link to give.
Hollywood trade critics have predicted that Downton is on course for Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations in the Best Picture category at the very least