Dust off your 1920s finery and start practicing your curtsy, because the first teaser trailer for the Downton Abbey film adaptation has finally arrived, and what a tease it is. In the exactly 60-second clip, unveiled by Focus Features on Friday morning, practically nothing of any consequence happens, though we do see multiple grand panning shots confirming that the titular estate is still standing, as well as a list of the characters who will appear in the film, answering the question that’s been on fans’ minds since the show’s sixth season concluded, in December 2015.
The trailer opens with a montage of the Downton Abbey estate being readied for some unspecified guest: Maids throw open the windows and rip protective sheets off furniture as the front door’s bell rings. Outside, select members of the Crawley family wait to receive their guest; though they’re blurred in the background of the shot, with the visitor’s car in the foreground, the welcome party appears to include the loyal butler Mr. Carson (Jim Carter), Countess Cora Crawley (Elizabeth McGovern), Mr. Bates (Brendan Coyle), Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery), and Lady Edith (Laura Carmichael).
As the trailer zooms out to show the estate in all its post-Edwardian glory, the ITV/PBS show’s signature sweeping theme plays and a lone motorcyclist rides up the path to the abbey. As the tranquil English countryside fades away, a black and white slide confirms that, besides the aforementioned favorites, Lord Robert Crawley (Hugh Bonneville), Dowager Countess Violet Crawley (Maggie Smith), Tom Branson (Allen Leech), Mrs. Bates (Joanne Froggatt), and Daisy Mason (Sophie McShera), among several other residents of the estate’s upstairs and downstairs, will appear in the film.
Not making a cameo, however, is Lily James, whose breakout role came as Lady Rose Aldridge on the show. “My character Rose moved off to New York, so it would be far-fetched to bring her back. I would have loved to have come back for a scene, but for a movie it can’t be like a Christmas special and it needs to be a focused storyline,” she recently told People. “There was no space for Rose. But I’m so excited for it—I’m going to be front row.”
Julian Fellowes, the creator of the original series, was reported to be working on the film adaptation’s screenplay in mid 2017, but it wasn’t until more than a year later that the Downton Abbey film was officially confirmed, with most of the original cast set to appear. “When the television series drew to a close, it was our dream to bring the millions of global fans a movie, and now, after getting many stars aligned, we are shortly to go into production,” the producer Gareth Neame said in a press release in July. “Julian’s script charms, thrills, and entertains, and in [director] Brian Percival’s hands we aim to deliver everything that one would hope for as Downton comes to the big screen.”
Only a few weeks later, Dockery shared the first photo from the film’s set on Instagram, though her black and white picture revealed about as much as this week’s trailer. “And…we’re off,” she captioned the shot, which, according to a clapboard, depicts the movie’s first scene, featuring Mr. Carson and an unidentified woman, likely his wife, Mrs. Hughes.