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13 February 2017, 12:02 | Updated: 14 July 2017, 11:11
Downton Abbey may be about to return to television screens in the near future with this HUGE hint at a prequel.
Winter without Downton Abbey on our TV screens is almost unbearable, with nothing significant taking its place on the prime time spot on a Sunday night.
However, things might be about to change as Downton's creator, Lord Julian Fellowes, has hinted that he's writing a whole new series - but it's not what you think.
The popular period drama came to an end two years ago following five successful years on screen because bosses wanted it to bow out on a high, but its writer Julian Fellowes has teased he's planning to pen a prequel and wants a whole new cast.
He told The Sun newspaper: "I think it would be possible to do a prequel that was re-cast and do a sort of a love story so you went right back and had the young cast arriving in the show as footmen and Mrs Patmore being a kitchen maid. It would work if you told everyone's story from 30 years before. You could do that with a different cast."
As well as the prequel, Julian is still hoping that he can round up the old cast - comprised of Michelle Dockery, Dame Maggie Smith, Hugh Bonneville and Jim Carter - so that he can make a successful blockbuster based on the period drama.
The prequel isn't likely to feature the original cast. Picture | ITV
He explained to the publication: "I hope there is going to be a film. I would like there to be a film. There are many factors as like all the actors in 'Downton Abbey', we made them famous. Now they have all gone off and they are doing films, theatre or TV series so it will be quite difficult rounding them up."
However, it shouldn't be that hard to get things up and running as a number of the cast members have previously admitted that they'd love for the film to go ahead.
Phyllis Logan, who played Mrs Hughes in the long-running drama, said she didn't take any props from the set when the show finished because she was sure she would need them again for the big-screen adaptation.
She explained: "People ask me if I was tempted to take a wig or that big bunch of keys I carried, but that would be theft, because these things aren't my property.
Jim Carter who plays Carson has dropped hints of a Downton Abbey movie. Picture | ITV
"Besides, if there's a 'Downton' movie, which I hope will happen, all the props and costumes will be needed. It's like herding cats! We're all so busy and in different countries, but it would be such fun to get together again. The camaraderie on set was extraordinary."
Recently, Jim Carter - who portrayed Mr Carson in the show - revealed that the cast had been asked to clear their diaries to shoot the film later this year.
He said: "We've been asked to keep ourselves available for dates in the future. But nobody has seen a script."
Joanne Froggatt - who portrayed Anna Smith in the period drama for five years - set tongues wagging last year when she revealed that Julian had penned the script for the forthcoming blockbuster.