Fans of Downton Abbey highly anticipate the upcoming return to Highclere Castle for the second film continuing the beloved period drama series after numerous delays from the COVID-19 pandemic. Downton Abbey: A New Era will mark the comeback of many familiar faces and the introduction of several fresh new characters, including Laura Haddock as Hollywood starlet Myrna Dalgleish and Dominic West as Guy Dexter, another high-profile actor.
The film's latest trailer gave viewers a sneak peek of a rather scandalous storyline surrounding Lady Violet's past romantic life. Lady Violet (Maggie Smith) recently inherited a French villa, but the trailer didn't give much detail about the sudden acquisition. Throughout the characters' exciting adventures, one major cast member was noticeably absent from both the trailer and promotional material.
Matthew Goode was previously known for his role as Hugh Alexander alongside fellow Downton Abbey actor Allen Leech in the 2014 film The Imitation Game. After their collaboration, Goode joined the Downton Abbey cast in the show's final season as car racer Henry Talbot. Eventually, Henry caught the eye of Lady Mary, and the pair married. There were some bumps along the way, considering how traumatized Lady Mary was at her late husband Matthew's death in an automobile accident shortly after their son George was born.
After Mary and Henry finally worked it out, he became the stepfather of young George. The couple also had a daughter, Caroline. After Downton Abbey ended, and fans were understandably crushed, series creator Julian Fellowes started production on the 2019 film Downton Abbey. Fellowes also worked on the recent HBO series The Gilded Age. Henry was also missing for much of the first movie, which was blamed on his commitment to a business trip.
Since Henry was a major character in Downton Abbey, audiences expected he'd play a big role in both films. To many fans' surprise, Henry didn't appear in the trailer or promotional material for the upcoming movie. Instead, a seemingly intimate conversation was shown between Lady Mary and Jack Barber, the director who arrived at Downton to film with the Hollywood stars. The pair were also shown working together for the film production, making Downton Abbey: A New Era a rather meta picture since it's a film within a film.
Alas, fans still hoping Henry would make a short cameo in the upcoming film will be disappointed. Goode recently commented to Extra that he was too "busy" to make an appearance in Downton Abbey: A New Era due to his commitment to the upcoming biographical miniseries The Offer. Throughout The Offer, which focused on the creation of Francis Ford Coppola's cult classic gangster flick The Godfather, Goode portrayed film producer Robert Evans. It's unclear how the film will handle Henry's absence. Hopefully, Mary won't lose another husband, and Henry just went off on another business trip.
Downton Abbey: A New Era will be released in theaters on May 20.