Fox Searchlight Checks in to THE BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL; Invites Julie Christie, Judi Dench, Tom Wilkinson, Peter O’Toole, and Dev Patel

     June 3, 2010


In what some may see as an attempt to recapture the Oscar/box office magic of Slumdog Millionaire, Fox Searchlight will adapt the Deborah Moggach novel These Foolish Things for the screen.  With the new title The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, the film will follow “a movie about a group of British senior citizens who travel to India to live out their dotage — an outsourcing, after a fashion — and find a new lease on life.”

24 Frames reports that Fox Searchlight is reaching out to Julie Christie, Judi Dench, Tom Wilkinson, and Peter O’Toole to star. (For those keeping track, there are twenty Oscar nominations in that group.)  Meanwhile, Slumdog star Dev Patel is in talks to co-star, and John Madden (Shakespeare in Love) is on the top of the studio’s director wishlist.  Hit the jump for the synopsis for These Foolish Things.

dev_patel_imageHere’s the synopsis via Amazon:

Dr Ravi Kapoor has reached the end of his tether. He is over-worked and exhausted; his South London hospital is out of funds; and reporters are hounding him about a pensioner, who for three days lay on a trolley in A and E, untended, the blood stiffening on her clothes. Even home life has become impossible, as his father-in-law, a disgusting and difficult old man, has been kicked out of his nursing home and has moved into Ravi’s spare bedroom. But then that ‘tip top man’, his cousin, Sonny, has his brainwave, his ‘great eureka’.

These Foolish Things is about Dunroamin, a converted guesthouse in Bangalore, where Sonny opens a home for old people. Travel and set-up are inexpensive, staff willing and plentiful – and the British pensionsers can enjoy the hot weather and take mango juice with their gin. Skilfully inter-weaving the stories of the inhabitants of Dunroamin, their characters and their families, Deborah Moggach has created a world in which hilarity is matched with the poignancy of getting old, and comedy with the darker issues of care in the community.

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