Watch: 'Downton Abbey' fans get special featurette sneak peek look at the upcoming movie

It's had to believe been five years since fans said goodbye to the period drama, Downton Abbey.

Now the wait is almost over until the brand new Downton Abbey feature film hits cinemas.

In the lead up to the swiftly approaching release, fans of the TV show were given a special featurette sneak peek at the new movie, which sees the return of all of beloved characters from the original TV series, including Robert Crawley (Hugh Bonneville), Violet Crawley (Maggie Smith), Mary Crawley (Michelle Dockery), Anna Bates (Joanne Froggatt) and Cora Crawley (Elizabeth McGovern).

The film is set in 1927 - a few years after the TV series finished - and it follows the residents of Downton Abbey as they face a new crisis: the impending visit of King George V and Queen Mary.

The visit sends the staff, who must clean the country estate from top to bottom, into a panic while the residents gossip in anticipation of the royal visit.

The film was written by Julian Fellowes, who created the original TV series, and is directed by Michael Engler, who directed episodes of the show.

In an interview with Vanity Fair, Julian revealed that they drew inspiration from a real historical event - when the royal couple visited Wentworth Woodhouse in Yorkshire in 1912 - for the film.

"Downton is also in Yorkshire ... it seemed to me quite a good parallel, [and something] that the servants and the family would be equally as excited about," he told Vanity Fair.

"In a film, every story has to be resolved within that film, and you want a unifying bond in a film—so it isn’t too scattered in its focus. That’s what the royal visit has provided us—an event that involves everyone in the house. And they all have different responses and different duties, but they’re all in that sense working towards the same end, which is that the visit should be a success. So we feel that being played out."

Downton Abbey is set to be released in New Zealand on September 12.