Full cast list and official synopsis for sequel…

Production on ‘The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel 2’ has begun in India, it has been announced John Madden (‘Shakespeare in Love’) is back to helm the follow-up companion feature to the 2012 film from an original screenplay by Ol Parker, from a story by Parker and Madden.

The cast has reunited for the film including stars Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Bill Nighy, Dev Patel, Celia Imrie, Ronald Pickup, Penelope Wilton, Diana Hardcastle, Tena Desae and Lillete Dubey. Additional cast making their debut include Richard Gere, David Strathairn and Tamsin Greig.

‘The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel 2’ is the expansionist dream of Sonny (Patel), and it’s making more claims on his time than he has available, considering his imminent marriage to the love of his life, Sunaina (Desae). Sonny has his eye on a promising property now that his first venture, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel for the Elderly and Beautiful, has only a single remaining vacancy – posing a rooming predicament for fresh arrivals Guy (Gere) and Lavinia (Greig). Evelyn and Douglas (Dench and Nighy) have now joined the Jaipur workforce, and are wondering where their regular dates for Chilla pancakes will lead, while Norman and Carol (Pickup and Hardcastle) are negotiating the tricky waters of an exclusive relationship, as Madge (Imrie) juggles two eligible and very wealthy suitors. Perhaps the only one who may know the answers is newly installed co-manager of the hotel, Muriel (Smith), the keeper of everyone’s secrets. As the demands of a traditional Indian wedding threaten to engulf them all, an unexpected way forward presents itself.

Blueprint Pictures’ Graham Broadbent and Peter Czernin will produce the film, with Participant’s Jeff Skoll serving as executive producer.

“We’re thrilled to reunite our creative and delightful Marigold Hotel family along with some intriguing new ‘guests’,” said Claudia Lewis, Fox Searchlight Pictures President of Production. “With John Madden’s direction and Ol Parker’s original screenplay, we look forward to further exploring our characters’ rich stories and triumphs.”

“What are the odds of being able to re-assemble this extraordinary group of actors and filmmakers, let alone to add to their number?” said Broadbent. “We found a worldwide audience we never dreamed of for the first, and we feel very lucky to have the chance now to bring them this companion film.”

“This film presented us with an irresistible opportunity: to continue a story we realized we had only just begun. 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,” said Madden.