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Lily James admits she will not be returning to Downton Abbey for upcoming movie

Lily James will not return for the film (Picture: ITV)

Lily James has revealed she has not been asked to star in the forthcoming Downton Abbey movie.

Fans of the hit period drama were over the moon when it was confirmed last week that the series was being made into a blockbuster but although producers have said that the entire original cast will be taking part in the film adaptation, the 29-year-old actress has revealed that she wont be reprising her role as Lady Rose MacClare.

My character Rose moved off to New York, so it would be farfetched to bring her back, Lily admitted.

I would have loved to have come back for a scene, but for a movie, it cant be like a Christmas special and it needs to be a focused storyline. There was simply no space for Rose.

Lily James admits she will not be returning to Downton Abbey for upcoming movie

Lily starred as Lady Rose (Picture: ITV)

But Lily – who played Rose on the show from 2010 until 2015 – has had months to get her head around the fact she wont be joining her cast mates and is so excited to see her friends Laura Carmichael and Michelle Dockery reprise their roles.

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I spoke to Laura not long ago and was texting Michelle about Love Island and its going to be really exciting. And the whole gang is coming back, she told People magazine.

Lily James admits she will not be returning to Downton Abbey for upcoming movie

The film will begin production soon (Picture: ITV)

Filming for the movie is scheduled to kick off later this summer – three years after it left the small screen following a five-year successful run – ready for a 2019 release.

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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, said producer Gareth Neame.

He added: Julians [Fellowes] script charms, thrills and entertains, and in Brian Percivals hands we aim to deliver everything that one would hope for as Downton comes to the big screen.

More: Film

Rumours about a movie have been rife for some time but the shows creator Julian created a storm of excitement last year when he said he had written a script for the blockbuster and was awaiting the go ahead from the studio.

He said at the time: Ive done some work on the script because I dont want to find theres a green light and no script ready.

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But were still waiting for that green light from the studio. Then the biggest difficulty will be rounding up all the cast as, compared with most series, it has such a large cast. And it needs them to feel Downtonesque.

MORE: First look at comedy giants Bill Bailey and Adrian Edmondson in The Big Bad Fox And Other Tales

MORE: Downton Abbey movie confirmed as cast reunite for big screen

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