One of the biggest surprise hits of this year was The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, about seven cash-strapped seniors who decide to retire to a resort in far-off India, where they find friendship and romance in the most unexpected ways. In fact, the film did so well at the box office, that there have been recent talks about developing a possible sequel and expanding the cast to include Helen Mirren and Colin Firth. From director John Madden (Shakespeare in Love) and screenwriter Ol Parker, the film stars Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, Maggie Smith, Tom Wilkinson, Penelope Wilton and Dev Patel.
With awards season in full swing – and the film having recently picked up nominations for Supporting Actress (Smith) and Outstanding Performance by a Cast at the SAG Awards, and Best Motion Picture Comedy or Musical and Best Actress (Dench) at the Golden Globes – screenwriter Ol Parker spoke to Collider for this exclusive interview about what a relief the success of the movie turned out to be, that he never considered directing the project himself, how the film’s success has really helped studios realize how viable older audiences can be, his initial reaction to the possibility of a sequel, how far along its development is, and how he’s also writing a romantic comedy pilot for NBC. Check out what he had to say after the jump.
Having just recently wrapped the starring role in Juno scribe Diablo Cody’s untitled directorial debut, Julianne Hough is now attached to reteam with Cody on the romantic dramedy Time and a Half for Groundswell Productions and Mad Chance Productions. Hough will play a recent college grad who runs into her sister’s high school boyfriend while taking a temp job at a trophy store. To complicate matters, she once had a one-night stand with said high school boyfriend. Cody wrote the script and Ol Parker (Imagine Me & You) is set to direct the pic.
Variety reports that the filmmakers are currently searching for the right actress to play Hough’s sister, and the project won’t go forward until they’ve filled the role. The plan is to start production next year should everything come together. Hough will next be seen in the Nicholas Sparks adaptation Safe Haven, which opens next Valentine’s Day.
More promotional material from AFM, y’all—and Now Is Good has to be one of the more intriguing projects to come out of the convention. Dakota Fanning stars as Tessa, a 17-year-old diagnosed with a terminal illness: “She determines to use every moment, compiling a catalogue of what normal teenager would experience, including losing her virginity and taking drugs.” Fanning has been a talented actor since she was in utero, and she will surely put together a great performance with this meaty role. But I’m drawn to the young supporting cast. Anyone who watches Skins can speak to the screen presence of Kaya Scoledario. And Jeremy Irvine is poised to be The Next Big Thing, groomed by none other than Steven Spielberg in his debut feature War Horse.
Olivia Williams and Paddy Considine also star in Now Is Good, written and directed by Ol Parker. Hit the jump for the images, promo poster, and synopsis. [Update: The images have been removed at the request of the studio.]