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The Anti-Targ

Downton Abbey Prequel Movie Yay or Nay?

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http://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2017/06/downton-abbey-movie-clue

Quote

Speaking at a China Exchange event in London, Fellowes reiterated that the biggest difficulty in getting the Downton movie off the ground “is rounding up the actors who have now gone off to the four corners of the earth, in Hollywood, on Broadway, doing plays, doing series and so on,” according to The Mirror.

Fellowes added that he has an idea for a prequel that would not depend as much on the original cast members: a film that takes place in the 1880s, so 30 years before the events depicted in the first episode of Downton Abbey. The prequel would mean casting younger actors to portray Downton’s beloved characters in their earlier days like Mrs. Patmore, for example, who would be starting work in the kitchen at the Yorkshire estate in this time frame.

It would be a bit shit for all the cast who helped make Downton such a huge success not to get turn on the big screen, and no Maggie Smith would be very disappointing. But I am pretty warm to the idea of seeing what life was like for the Granthams in 1880.

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I'd be down for more Downton in whatever iteration Fellowes chooses. The film having a cast of younger versions of some of our favorites sounds interesting, but recasting Maggie Smith is gonna be tough. Maybe they could just do that magic CGI facelift on her like they did for Johnny Depp in POTC 5 or Kurt Russell in GotG v2.

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I shall prepare my white linen doilies in anticipation. 

Julian Fellowes and Michael Hirst blow me away.  Writing EVERY SINGLE EPISODE of a show. Hirst in particular has written... 49 one hour Vikings eps in 3 years? Insane 

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3 hours ago, generalzod said:

I shall prepare my white linen doilies in anticipation. 

Julian Fellowes and Michael Hirst blow me away.  Writing EVERY SINGLE EPISODE of a show. Hirst in particular has written... 49 one hour Vikings eps in 3 years? Insane 

Unfortunately, these two examples show why having one writer for a show isn't a good idea. Not that having multiple writers necessarily means your show is going to be good, but both of these writers started running out of ideas for their shows in season 2, and also had nobody to tell them that some of their ideas were terrible.

I might watch a Downton prequel if it got good reviews. Otherwise I'm ok never returning to this world; I couldn't make it past late season 5, when some of those terrible plotlines (Edith's baby, Bates/Anna murder mystery part 8283902) just dragging on and on and on...

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I watched Downton Abbey pretty recently and I really liked it overall, but it did struggle a bit towards the end.  I wasn't feeling the revived Bates / Anna murder mystery either or the Carson / Hughes romance that felt like they just kinda threw that in there to warm the hearts of grandmother's everywhere.  Still it is without a great show and I was surprised by how much I liked it after years of rolling my eyes at people for telling me to watch it. :P 

Agree with others that I'm not sure how I feel about anything Downton related without Maggie Smith though.  Her character was great and she killed it in the role.  Definitely one of the aspects of the show I liked the most.  

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@S John I was also surprised at myself when I realized how much I liked it. I started watching it after it'd been on air for two seasons, and instantly got hooked. I agree the earlier seasons were the strongest. Anna & Bates were by far my favorite romance on the series. 

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On 01/07/2017 at 8:22 AM, Caligula_K3 said:

Unfortunately, these two examples show why having one writer for a show isn't a good idea. Not that having multiple writers necessarily means your show is going to be good, but both of these writers started running out of ideas for their shows in season 2, and also had nobody to tell them that some of their ideas were terrible.

I might watch a Downton prequel if it got good reviews. Otherwise I'm ok never returning to this world; I couldn't make it past late season 5, when some of those terrible plotlines (Edith's baby, Bates/Anna murder mystery part 8283902) just dragging on and on and on...

I wonder why it's harder for one writer to write several seasons of a TV show, yet it doesn't seem to be the case for books where one writer can write multiple volume epics, or episodic novels, or massive single volume complex stories. All of these would translate into a number of seasons of TV. Is it because the playwright tradition and discipline (of which TV / movie writing is an evolutionary step) was not originally developed for such extended storytelling as several TV seasons of story? 

Or is it actually a fallacy that one writer can't carry a multi-season TV show all the way through? I guess we don't have a large enough sample size to really know if it can work. I do think one essential element is having directors and editors who are able to tell the writer what's good and what's not and the writer is willing to listen and adjust.

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Simply, without Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey movie would be barely watchable.

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Nay.  The story has been told.

 

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Late reply, but I'd think part of the problem is that a writer has (usually) time to write. Of course there are deadlines, and some writers need to publish to survive, but there's no pressure that as soon as one book is finished you have to immediately start working on the next. Showrunners who write everything for their own show not only have to write 10-12 scripts a year, which is a lot in itself, but do it immediately after they've wrapped filming on a season in a few months. Under those conditions, I think it'd be impossible for even the best TV writer to hit gold for more than a couple seasons.

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On 10/07/2017 at 7:35 AM, Caligula_K3 said:

Late reply, but I'd think part of the problem is that a writer has (usually) time to write. Of course there are deadlines, and some writers need to publish to survive, but there's no pressure that as soon as one book is finished you have to immediately start working on the next. Showrunners who write everything for their own show not only have to write 10-12 scripts a year, which is a lot in itself, but do it immediately after they've wrapped filming on a season in a few months. Under those conditions, I think it'd be impossible for even the best TV writer to hit gold for more than a couple seasons.

A sensitive subject around here...:leaving:

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