Downton Abbey 3 is officially happening - and these are the characters who will (and won't) be returning

There are loads of newbies, too!

Downton Abbey
(Image credit: Courtesy of ITV)

Downtown Abbey 3 is happening! The film will be the third in the series, which itself was based on the cult TV series of the same name. If you're a longtime fan of the Downton universe, you're probably wondering which characters will be returning to the film, and don't worry, you're in for a treat.

According to a press release, these are the cast members you can expect back on the big screen this time around:

  • Hugh Bonneville (Robert Crawley, Earl of Grantham)
  • Elizabeth McGovern (Cora Crawley, Countess of Grantham)
  • Michelle Dockery (Lady Mary Crawley)
  • Laura Carmichael (Lady Edith Crawley)
  • Jim Carter (Charles Carson)
  • Phyllis Logan (Mrs. Hughes)
  • Robert James-Collier (Thomas Barrow)
  • Joanne Froggatt (Anna Bates)
  • Allen Leech (Tom Branson)
  • Penelope Wilton (Isobel Crawley)
  • Lesley Nicol (Mrs. Patmore)
  • Michael Fox (Andy)
  • Raquel Cassidy (Baxter)
  • Brendan Coyle (John Bates)
  • Kevin Doyle (Joseph Molesley)
  • Harry Hadden-Paton (Bertie Pelham)
  • Sophie McShera (Daisy Mason)
  • Douglas Reith (Lord Merton)

Meanwhile, it looks like some beloved cast members won't be returning, most notably Dame Maggie Smith (Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham). Other names absent from the press release include David Robb (Dr. Clarkson), Lily James (Lady Rose MacClare), and Samantha Bond (Lady Rosamund Painswick).

Still, there's some more good news: some newbies (or relative newbies) have been added to the cast. Paul Giamatti will return in the role of Harold Levinson (Cora Grantham's brother), which he played for one episode of the show, while Dominic West will reprise the role of Guy Dexter. They will be joined by Joely Richardson, Alessandro Nivola, Simon Russell Beale, and Arty Froushan.

Downton Abbey, the series, ran between 2010 and 2015, with the first film being released in 2019. The sequel, Downton Abbey: A New Era, was released in 2022. This upcoming third instalment is expected to be the last.

Iris Goldsztajn
Iris Goldsztajn is a celebrity and royal news writer for Marie Claire. As a London-based freelance journalist, she writes about wellness, relationships, pop culture, beauty and more for the likes of InStyle, Women's Health, Bustle, Stylist and Red. Aside from her quasi-personal investment in celebs' comings and goings, Iris is especially interested in debunking diet culture and destigmatising mental health struggles. Previously, she was the associate editor for Her Campus, where she oversaw the style and beauty news sections, as well as producing gift guides, personal essays and celebrity interviews. There, she worked remotely from Los Angeles, after returning from a three-month stint as an editorial intern for in New York. As an undergraduate at the University of California, Los Angeles, she interned at goop and C California Style and served as Her Campus' national style and LGBTQ+ editor. Iris was born and raised in France by a French father and an English mother. Her Spotify Wrapped is riddled with country music and One Direction, and she can typically be found eating her body weight in cheap chocolate.