Julian Fellowes "crammed in as many characters" as possible for 'Downton Abbey'.

Julian Fellowes

Julian Fellowes

The 70-year-old screenwriter has penned the script for the big screen adaptation of the ITV period drama - which he created and helmed for six seasons - and he has opened up about challenges with transforming a story told over 52 episodes into a feature film.

Speaking at the world premiere of 'Downton Abbey' at London's Leicester Square on Monday night (09.09.19), he said: "In a film, every character has to have a story, and every story has to be resolved.

"So there is a finite amount of space to do that, and I think we have crammed in as many characters as we could that could fulfill that."

The limitations of a movie meant some tough decisions had to be made, and Sue Johnston, 75, previously revealed her character Gladys Denker - the lady's maid to Dame Maggie Smith's Violet Crawley, the Dowager Countess of Grantham - was dropped from the script by writer Fellowes.

She previously said: "Denker was the first in the script and then the script disappeared. Imagine how I felt!"

The movie will see the return of fan favourites including Hugh Bonneville as Lord Grantham and Elizabeth McGovern as Lady Cora Crawley and Elizabeth, 57, previously teased that the movie is for viewers who have "loved getting to know the characters" and she hopes the film lives up to the fans' huge expectations.

She said: "I think so, it's certainly our intention. I haven't seen it yet but it is for the fans, it's for the people that stayed with the show that loved getting to know the characters who have been through very much."