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Final Downton Abbey: A New Era Trailer Teases The Sequel The Series Deserves

Julian Fellowes has long focused on the intriguing world of the aristocracy for his epic period pieces. After receiving a best original screenplay Academy Award for the "Gosford Park" screenplay, Fellowes went full steam ahead. He went on to create and pen the television series "Downton Abbey" which became a phenomenon when it debuted on British television in 2010. 

The series follows the trials and tribulations of the Crawley family as they try to retain their estate, weather numerous dramas within the family, and co-exist with their lively house staff (all of whom have their own dramatic entanglements to deal with). Over the years, viewers fell in love with the Crawleys and their staff, watching as each of the daughters — Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery), Lady Edith (Laura Carmichael), and Lady Sibyl (Jessica Brown Findlay) — found their footing in the world. There was also the matter of these characters surviving World War I, managing the vast estate, and figuring out how to embrace the modernity of the early 20th century. 

"Downton Abbey" lasted a substantial six seasons, ending in 2015 but eventually giving way to a follow-up film in 2019, also titled "Downton Abbey" (via IMDb). But that wasn't to be the end of the esteemed Crawleys. Though the timeline of the family is well into the '20s, the esteemed family continues to hold on to their status even as modern life comes crashing toward them. In the final trailer for "Downton Abbey: A New Era," which arrives three months after the release of the first trailer (that fans couldn't get enough of, it should be noted), viewers can take a look at what the sequel has in store.

The final trailer for the new Downton Abbey movie pushes the Crawleys into the modern era

Before "Downton Abbey: A New Era" premieres exclusively in theaters on Friday, May 20, fans get a peek at the Crawleys in the final trailer (via YouTube). Lady Violet (Dame Maggie Smith) throws the family for a loop when she reveals an old acquaintance has bequeathed her a villa in the south of France. Many of her family members are shocked by this news, but as the Dowager remarks, "Do I look as if I'd turn down a villa in the south of France?" (No, Lady Violet. And no one should dare ask you to do so either.)

So, while some of the Crawleys are off to visit their new holdings in a more temperate climate, others remain at home as the world around them continues to shift in a seismic fashion. That brings us to the most important aspect of the trailer: the time period. "The modern world comes to Downton," Lady Cora (Elizabeth McGovern) notes. This is significant, especially for a family of such means. Arbitrary titles are less and less important and instead are making way for better class equality. This is highlighted when Downton becomes the host for a moving picture, inviting newcomers Dominic West, Hugh Dancy, and Laura Haddock to the screen. There is also a notable amount of screentime given to a variety of characters breathlessly pondering endings and beginnings, which feels rather on the nose given the title of this feature film.

With familiar cast members, as well as new ones, there is certainly some truth to the title "Downton Abbey: A New Era" in this adventure. Though Carson (Jim Carter) may not like it, modern life is coming, and there is no stopping it.