Richard Gere, David Strathairn Check in to ‘Best Exotic Marigold Hotel 2’

First sequel ever for Fox Searchlight

Richard Gere, David Strathairn and Tamsin Greig have been added to the cast of Fox Searchlight’s “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel 2,” which has started shooting in India.

John Madden has returned to direct the sequel from a script by Ol Parker. Returning cast includes Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Bill Nighy, Dev Patel, Celia Imrie, Ronald Pickup, Penelope Wilton, Diana Hardcastle, Tena Desae and Lillete Dubey.

Blueprint Pictures’ Graham Broadbent and Peter Czernin are producing and Participant’s Jeff Skoll is  executive producer. Fox Searchlight Pictures has worldwide rights and will co-finance in association with Participant Media and Image Nation Abu Dhabi.

The original “Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” was a surprise hit and grossed $135 million worldwide in 2012. The new project is the first sequel ever released by Fox Searchlight.

The sequel is set with Patel and Smith’s characters co-managing The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel for the Elderly and Beautiful with a single remaining vacancy, with Gere and Greig’s characters arriving.

“This film presented us with an irresistible opportunity: to continue a story we realized we had only just begun,” Madden said. “Not to tell the same story again, but to pursue where the lives of these very different characters lead, with an audience which already holds them in great affection.”

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