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There might be a Downton Abbey film after its sixth and final series. Idris Elba has spoken of making a Luther film, too. What’s certain is that three other hit Brit series are headed for the big screen.

Absolutely Fabulous
Absolutely Fabulous – Image courtesy of Hulu Plus

Movie versions of telly hits can mean millions of happy fans as well as dollars. Just ask the folks behind The Inbetweeners and The Inbetweeners 2, which grossed a combined $152 million. And the two Mr. Bean films — Bean in 1997 and Mr. Bean’s Holiday in 2007 — together raked in more than $480 million. Will the new films fare as well at the box office? Here’s hoping…

Absolutely Fabulous

Sweetie, darling, the larger-than-life and over-the-top BFFs “Eddy” and Patsy are definitely returning, this time to your local cinema. Series co-lead Jennifer Saunders confirmed last year that she was writing the script for the Ab Fab film, and recently added that the plot “involves all the main characters and virtually everyone that’s ever been in the series.”

So, we can look forward to seeing Julia Sawalha reprise her role as Edina’s daughter Saffron, June Whitfield as Eddy’s mum, and Jane Horrocks as Bubble. The question is, which of the dozens of guest stars who appeared in the series will have roles in the film?

According to Radio Times, Dawn French (The Vicar of Dibley) does, as does Aussie actress Rebel Wilson (Pitch Perfect films). RT also noted that “A host of people from the fashion world are tipped to appear, with supermodel Cara Delevingne said to be interested in a role.” Naomi Campbell, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Christian Lacroix, and Twiggy had appeared in the series, so they could have cameos, as well.

Although both Saunders and her co-lead Joanna Lumley have kept mum about the film’s storyline, Lumley did confirm a couple weeks ago that the movie will begin filming on the 12th of October 2015, in London and the South of France.

The Ab Fab film has an expected release date in 2016.

Until then, get your Absolutely Fabulous groove on with this:

Bad Education

Alfie Wickers, the feckless and reckless former teacher of Abbey Grove School, is making a comeback when Jack Whitehall reprises his character for The Bad Education Movie.

Most of the cast from Bad Education, which ran for three series, also returns, including Mathew Horne as headmaster Fraser, Harry Enfield as Alfie’s dad Martin Wickers, and Sarah Solemani as Alfie’s lady love Rosie Gulliver.

The film follows Alfie and his former students Chantelle (Nikki Runeckles), Jing (Kae Alexander), Joe (Ethan Lawrence), Mitchell (Charlie Wernham), “Rem Dogg” (Jack Binstead), and Stephen (Layton Williams) on a trip Cornwall — the worst class trip ever.

Iain Glen (Game of Thrones, Jack Taylor), Clarke Peters (Agatha Christie’s Partners in Crime, The Wire), and Joanna Scanlan (No Offence, The Thick of It) costar in The Bad Education Movie, which opens across the UK on 21 August 2015. (No word yet on if or when the film will be released in the US, so stay tuned.)

Dad’s Army

The classic Britcom Dad’s Army gets its second film (the first was released in 1971) with a new cast playing the beloved characters of the Walmington-on-Sea Home Guard.

Here are the series’ characters and the actors who portray them in the new film:

  • Captain George Mainwaring — Toby Jones (Detectorists, The Hunger Games films)
  • Sergeant Arthur Wilson — Bill Nighy (Worricker Trilogy, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel)
  • Lance-Corporal Jack Jones — Tom Courtenay (Little Dorrit, Quartet)
  • Private James Frazer — Bill Paterson (Outlander, How to Lose Friends & Alienate People)
  • Private Joe Walker — Daniel Mays (Mrs Biggs, Made in Dagenham)
  • Private Charles Godfrey — Michael Gambon (Fortitude, Harry Potter films)
  • Private Frank Pike — Blake Harrison (The Inbetweeners series and films)
  • Warden William Hodges — Martin Savage (Extras, Mr Turner)
  • Reverend Timothy Farthing — Frank Williams, who reprises his role from the series
  • Mrs. Pike — Sarah Lancashire (Happy Valley, Last Tango in Halifax)
  • Mrs. Fox — Alison Steadman (Gavin & Stacey, The Syndicate)
  • Mrs. Mainwaring — Felicity Montagu (Doc Martin, Alan Partridge)
  • Cissy Godfrey — Annette Crosbie (One Foot in the Grave, Calendar Girls)
  • Dolly Godfrey — Julia Foster (Holby City, Flick)

Also starring in the movie are Catherine Zeta-Jones (Ocean’s 12, Chicago) as journalist Rose Winters and Mark Gatiss (Sherlock, Wolf Hall) as Colonel Theakes. Ian Lavender, who played Pvt. Pike in the series, plays Brigadier Pritchard in the movie.

Set in 1944, the film follows the Home Guard platoon, suffering low morale in the lead-up to the end of World War II until the arrival of a beautiful journalist and the possibility of a German spy in their midst.

Here’s a look at the original series…

And here’s the trailer for the Dad’s Army film, scheduled to be released in 2016.


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British TV Hits Coming to the Big Screen: Ab Fab, Bad Education, Dad’s Army Movies [UPDATED]
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