The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel was one of 2012′s sleeper hits. It was the perfect summer counter-programming to the blockbusters inundating theaters. John Madden‘s film is a nice, fluffy piece that has charming actors in a story featuring a solid balance of comedy and romance with a little bit of drama thrown in for good measure. This mixture ended up yielding $136 million worldwide on a reported budget of $10 million, and that’s good enough for Fox Searchlight to make The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel 2 the first sequel in the company’s history. Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Bill Nighy, Dev Patel, Celia Imrie, Ronald Pickup, Penelope Wilton, Diana Hardcastle, Tena Desae, and Lillete Dubey are all set to return, and they’ll be joined by Richard Gere, David Strathairn, and Tamsin Greig (Episodes).
Hit the jump for the press release, which contains the synopsis for the movie. Ol Parker and Madden will return to write and direct, respectively.