Downton Abbey’s “original principal cast” are reuniting to make a movie version of the hit period drama.

The screenplay has been written by creator Julian Fellowes and production is due to begin later this summer.

Fellowes will also co-produce the film, which is being directed by Brian Percival, who directed the Downton pilot.

Joanne Froggatt, who plays Anna Bates, tweeted a picture of herself with fellow stars Michelle Dockery and Dame Maggie Smith with the words: “Delighted to announce we’re getting the band back together!”

Dockery, who played Lady Mary Crawley in the hit show, wrote on Instagram: “The secret’s out… thrilled to announce that Downton Abbey is coming to the big screen.”

Her words were posted alongside a photo of her and Laura Carmichael, who plays Lady Edith Crawley.

The drama follows the lives of the the Crawley family and the servants who work for them in an Edwardian English country home.

During the course of six series, it became the most nominated non-American TV show in the history of the Emmy Awards.

The last TV episode aired on Christmas Day, 2015.

Producer Gareth Neame said it had been “our dream to bring the millions of global fans a movie”.

More from Entertainment

“After getting many stars aligned, we are shortly to go into production,” he added.

“Julian’s script charms, thrills and entertains and in Brian Percival’s hands we aim to deliver everything that one would hope for as Downton comes to the big screen.”