Back Together: The DOWNTON Gang

Golly Gumdrop! Julian Fellowes, Downton director Michael Engler, and Elizabeth McGovern are teaming up again in Masterpiece’s production of The Chaperone, based on Laura Moriarty’s 2012 novel of the same name (PRH/Riverhead; Thorndike Large Print; Blackstone Audio; Penguin Audio; OverDrive Sample).

The novel was a hit, landing on the NYT Best Seller list, getting strong coverage, and triggering hold queues that topped 10:1.

It is a historical set in the 1920s that traces the story of a Kansas woman named Cora (played by McGovern and coincidentally the name of the character she played on Downton), who acts as the chaperone of Louise Brooks, a 15-year-old girl who becomes the famous 1920’s movie star (played by Julia Goldani Telles, The Affair).

The movie is set to open first in theaters and then will be aired on PBS stations nationwide. Deadline Hollywood notes this will be the first time Masterpiece has produced a feature film.

McGovern is very familiar with the novel. She read the audiobook version, getting an AudioFile Earphones Award in the process. In their review, Audifile writes, “McGovern’s soft-spoken performance is utterly entrancing. Her careful use of emotion and mastery of expression pull listeners into this period piece about a young woman on the road to self-discovery and a girl on the brink of fame … an outstanding audio experience.”

A premiere date has not been announced.

Moriarty talked about the book at 2012’s BEA:

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