Fellowes and Neame were quizzed about a sequel to “Downton Abbey: The Movie,” which enjoyed a successful release earlier this year.
“Fortunately, it has worked,” Neame said at the Content London conference’s Drama Summit. “It’s Focus Features’ biggest film ever, it broke the record held by ‘Brokeback Mountain’ for many years, it’s Universal’s biggest release in the U.K. all year, and [it’s] so far grossed about $185 million globally.
“We all enjoyed it. The actors enjoyed it, so hopefully we’ll find a way to come back for more.”
But there are other more immediate priorities. Fellowes and Neame are deep into big-ticket HBO period drama “The Gilded Age,” which Neame said was consuming both his and Fellowes’ time and energy. Fellowes is currently going through casting rewrites on the show ahead of production starting next spring.
“We won’t start shooting until March, and there are huge sets going up and we are casting in New York at the moment,” Neame said. “Julian is doing a lot of rewrites, and he said: ‘It may delay me thinking further about this “Downton” endeavor.’ I said: ‘I like to think you have two shifts going on, a day shift and night shift, and the TV work can happen during the day and the writing on the “Downton” script at night.’”