'Downton Abbey: A New Era' Trailer Ushers the Crawley Household Into the Movie Business

Hugh Dancy and Dominic West join the ensemble cast of Downton Abbey: A New Era, in theaters May 20

The Crawleys are entering the movie business.

In a new trailer for the upcoming big-screen sequel Downton Abbey: A New Era, Hugh Dancy stars as filmmaker coming to shoot a film at their castle, introducing the beloved cast to new characters, played by Dominic West, Laura Haddock, Nathalie Baye and Jonathan Zaccaï.

Returning stars include Maggie Smith, Hugh Bonneville, Elizabeth McGovern, Michelle Dockery, Laura Carmichael, Jim Carter, Brendan Coyle, Kevin Doyle, Joanne Froggatt, Harry Hadden-Paton, Robert James-Collier, Allen Leech, Phyllis Logan, Sophie McShera, Tuppence Middleton, Lesley Nicol, Imelda Staunton and Penelope Wilton.

"I should have thought the best thing about films is that you can't hear them," Smith's Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess, says upon being told talkies are in. She quips, "Be even better if you couldn't see them either!"

The movie, directed by Simon Curtis (Woman in Gold), also explores Violet's "mysterious" past as the family travels to the South of France to find out about her newly inherited villa.

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Downton Abbey aired six seasons during its television reign between 2010 and 2015, followed by a breakout big-screen release in 2019.

Creator Julian Fellowes told PEOPLE in November that this film is "really a new era." He explained, "The further the '20s went along, the more the world was changing in so many ways. Everything from entertainment to transport was really different by the end of the '20s. That's what we're referring to in that."

Though Fellowes couldn't say much about the forthcoming Downton film, he promised an "unashamedly feel-good movie."

"I like the idea that people go into the movie and have a great two hours and then go out to have dinner. That seems to me to be a good thing," Fellowes said. "If we are useful for cheering people up and giving them an easy time of it, that doesn't bother me."

Downton Abbey: A New Era is in theaters May 20.

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