Potential for a Downton Abbey movie after the last season

Downton AbbeyDownton Abbey‘s sixth and final season will air later this year in the UK and early next year in the US. For fans of the period drama hit who want to see more of the Crawleys, there may be some hope for a movie.

Downton cast members Michelle Dockery, Laura Carmichael, Hugh Bonneville, Joanne Froggatt, Elizabeth McGovern, and Penelope Wilton discussed the drama’s final season during a press conference to the Television Critics Association last Saturday. With two weeks left of filming before they say goodbye to the show forever, the cast got quite emotional. Some details were revealed about the plot of the last episodes (which are set in 1925), and a trailer was screened for critics.

“The final season has the flavor of an end of an era,” Hugh Bonneville shared, according to Vanity Fair.

Executive producer Gareth Neame also told Vanity Fair that historical events will not be as prominent in the final episodes as they were in previous seasons. “They’re less significant in the last season, just as there are fewer guest stars because the focus is on the household.” Neame added that while there will be “shocks and surprises and things that don’t quite turn out as you’d expect”, he and series creator Julian Fellowes kept the fans in mind and were careful to “not piss them off.”

While Neame and Fellowes are still considering a film to pick up after the finale’s events, Fellowes would have to pen the script while juggling his writing responsibilities for the NBC period drama The Gilded Age. And on the subject of a spinoff series, a prequel seems to be likely, though Neame maintains that the focus is on completing the current series.

In a report by Entertainment Weekly, Julian Fellowes said that for a future film, the story could extend to the end of the 1920s. “If we had gone to a season 7 or 8 we would have taken it that much further,” he explained. “There’s speculation about whether we’ll ever make a Downton movie, we might, but there are no firm plans. But it means there’s a lot of rich [remaining] territory.”

But in spite of fans clamoring for more Downton, Fellowes reiterated that this is the right time for the series to end.

“If we had finished at 5 [seasons], that would have been short-changing a global audience,” Fellowes said, “And if we had tried to do 8, that would have felt like running out of ideas… The best thing [a viewer] can say is ‘I don’t want the show to end.'”

The sixth and final season of Downton Abbey will air in September on ITV (UK) and on January 3, 2016 on PBS (US).