A 'Downton Abbey' prequel in the works, says creator Julian Fellowes

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downton-abbey-prequel-michael-fassbender-hugh-bonneville.jpgBig news from across the pond, "Downton Abbey" fans. Creator Julian Fellowes says he has a prequel in the works that will chronicle the love story between Robert and Cora.

At the BAFTA Screenwriting Lecture (via the Daily Mail), Fellowes says, "I do have an idea of doing a prequel of the courtship between Robert and Cora. It is a fascinating time when the Buccaneers were coming to England and marrying [aristocrats]."

He reminds the audience that Cora "was in love with [Robert] before they married," but that it took him about a year to fall in love with her.

"He married her purely for the money," says Fellowes. "I think that is something he came to feel quite guilty about."

Fellowes goes on to say that he was initially planning the story as a novel to accompany the series, but it's likely ITV will adapt it for television too. He also says he has ideas for "Downton" characters in a film or on stage, but that those plans will have to wait until the television series is wrapped.

As of right now, "Downton" is airing its third season in the U.K., which is set to premiere in the U.S. in January 2013. ITV is expected to commission a fourth season, but there is no official word yet.

So -- who are your dream actors to play young Lord and Lady Grantham? We think perhaps Michael Fassbender for Robert and maybe Ginnifer Goodwin (with some colored contacts) as Cora -- she is a fan of the show, after all. Who would be the young Dowager Countress? What about Carson? What about Robert and Cora's fathers?!

Oh, we are getting so excited just thinking about it.

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Photo/Video credit: Getty Images