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Downton Abbey movie: FIRST images of the lavish country set are unveiled as filming on the eagerly anticipated film gets underway at Highclere Castle

Daily Mail logo Daily Mail 20/09/2018 Roxy Simons For Mailonline

© Shutterstsock Downton Abbey's hotly-anticipated feature film has begun shooting, with Michelle Dockery revealing a first look from the set of the period drama last week.

And the first images of the set were unveiled on Wednesday, as the cast and crew returned to the world famous Highclere Castle in Berkshire.

Decked out with trailers and trucks for the actors, as well as a stable courtyard and tennis court ready for use, it is clear that filming is well and truly underway.

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a view of a city: Downton Abbey movie: First images of the lavish set were unveiled on Wednesday as filming got underway at Highclere Castle © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Downton Abbey movie: First images of the lavish set were unveiled on Wednesday as filming got underway at Highclere Castle

The Jacobethan country house has been the home of the show since its inception in 2010, and the building looked resplendent against the luscious backdrop.

Studio lights had been placed outside of the entrance, and were on, suggesting that exterior scenes had already been filmed on set.

Video: The Dowager Countess of Grantham's Best Moments: Part 1 | Downton Abbey (Cosmopolitan)

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Meanwhile, a large catering marquee has also been provided for the cast and crew to use throughout the day during their busy shooting schedule.

It has been announced that the movie is pegged for European release on Friday 13 September 2019 and US release on Friday 20 September 2019.

a castle on top of a grass covered field with Highclere Castle in the background: Ready for action: The Jacobethan style country house which has been the home for the show since its inception in 2010 looked resplendent against its luscious backdrop © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Ready for action: The Jacobethan style country house which has been the home for the show since its inception in 2010 looked resplendent against its luscious backdrop Filming began earlier this month, and Michelle took to her Instagram to share a snapshot from behind the scenes of the movie. 

The actress, 36, is reprising her role as Lady Mary Crawley, and the film will continue where the hugely-popular ITV show left off when it wrapped in December 2015.

She was clearly excited to be back, as, alongside the image of a clapperboard on set, Michelle wrote: 'And... we're off'.

a screen shot of a person: Behind the scenes! Filming began earlier this month, and Michelle Dockery took to Instagram to share a snapshot revealing a first look from the set of the period drama © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Behind the scenes! Filming began earlier this month, and Michelle Dockery took to Instagram to share a snapshot revealing a first look from the set of the period drama The plot for the new film is being kept under wraps, but it has been confirmed that Michelle will be joined by original co-stars Maggie Smith, Hugh Bonneville, Elizabeth McGovern, and Laura Carmichael.

Matthew Goode, who plays Lady Mary's husband Henry Talbot, has also revealed that he will have a role in the film, albeit a short one as he said he's just 'popping in' due to conflicting work commitments.

Michelle Dockery wearing a hat: Good to be back: The actress, 36, is reprising her role as Lady Mary Crawley, and the film will continue where the hugely-popular ITV show left off when it wrapped in December 2015 © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Good to be back: The actress, 36, is reprising her role as Lady Mary Crawley, and the film will continue where the hugely-popular ITV show left off when it wrapped in December 2015 Imelda Staunton, Geraldine James, Simon Jones, and Stephen Campbell Moore are among the new additions to the cast.

Michelle was not the only cast member to express their joy at being back, as Joanne Froggatt also shared a picture of her trailer, which had her character's name on it. 

Excited: Michelle was not the only cast member to express their joy at being back, as Joanne Froggatt also took a picture of her trailer, which had her character's name on it © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Excited: Michelle was not the only cast member to express their joy at being back, as Joanne Froggatt also took a picture of her trailer, which had her character's name on it Having played maid Anna Bates in all six seasons of the period drama, it's no wonder that she is back for another chapter. 

Allen Leech and Hugh appeared to be spending some quality time together, as the latter revealed they 'skipped the first day of filming for Downton Abbey' to go to see a play in Bath.

Allen Leech et al. posing for the camera: Taking a breather: Allen, who reprises his role as Tom Branson in the film, wrote: 'Quick catch up after 9 holes of golf....... after rehearsals, rehearsals and scene study!' © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Taking a breather: Allen, who reprises his role as Tom Branson in the film, wrote: 'Quick catch up after 9 holes of golf....... after rehearsals, rehearsals and scene study!' Allen, who reprises his role as Tom Branson in the film, wrote: 'Quick catch up after 9 holes of golf....... after rehearsals, rehearsals and scene study!'

The Downton Abbey movie was confirmed in July after months of speculation from eager fans. 

Outing: Allen Leech and Hugh Bonneville spent some quality time together, as the latter revealed they 'skipped the first day of filming for Downton Abbey' to go see a play in Bath © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Outing: Allen Leech and Hugh Bonneville spent some quality time together, as the latter revealed they 'skipped the first day of filming for Downton Abbey' to go see a play in Bath Joanne Froggatt wrote on her Twitter page: 'Delighted to announce we’re getting the band back together! #DowntonMovie #DowntonAbbey.' 

Downton Abbey's Twitter also posted: 'Welcome back to Downton! We’re thrilled to announce that #DowntonAbbey is coming to the big screen. Film production begins this summer.'

Ralf Little et al. sitting at a table with wine glasses: Enjoying their day: Hugh and Allen could be seen at dinner with pals in Bath, including actor Ralf Little (second left) and Downton co-star Elizabeth McGovern (centre) © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Enjoying their day: Hugh and Allen could be seen at dinner with pals in Bath, including actor Ralf Little (second left) and Downton co-star Elizabeth McGovern (centre) Michelle also wrote on Instagram: 'The secret’s out… Thrilled to announce that Downton Abbey is coming to the big screen.'  

Downton Abbey 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.

According to Vanity Fair, the movie script has been written by show creator Julian Fellowes Focus and Universal Pictures International are distributing.

Michelle Dockery et al. posing for a photo: Reunion: While he's not likely to make a surprise return, in August Michelle and Allen had a mini-reunion with their former cast mate Dan Stevens in Los Angeles © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Reunion: While he's not likely to make a surprise return, in August Michelle and Allen had a mini-reunion with their former cast mate Dan Stevens in Los Angeles Brian Percival, who has directed several episodes of Downton, including the pilot, will helm the film, but there are no plot details known as of yet.   

The film’s producer Gareth Neame said in a statement: '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'.

The final episode of Downton aired on December 25, 2015 on ITV.

Maggie Smith et al. standing in front of a building: Popular: Downton Abbey 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  © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Popular: Downton Abbey 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  The show is the most nominated non-U.S. television show in the history of the Emmys, with 15 under their belt.

They earned a trio of Golden Globe Awards and a Special BAFTA award.

Joanne had previously said: 'Selfishly, it would be great to get together for ten weeks and have a little reunion,' Froggatt said. 'I think we’d all like to do it.' 

Gallery: Here's Who You Can Expect to See When Downton Abbey Hits the Big Screen (Popsugar)


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