Mirren, Firth Book “Exotic Marigold” Sequel?

When it was delayed several months by Fox Searchlight, it was thought John Madden’s “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” didn’t have the goods to be an awards contender in 2011. The school of thinking was that it would quietly slip away in its early May slot, trampled by the big studio blockbusters that dominate the period.

That didn’t happen. Instead, ‘Marigold’ ended up becoming of the biggest sleeper hits of the year, taking in $134 million worldwide (from only a $10 million budget). It was one of the highest-grossing specialty releases of the year in the United States, and one of the highest-grossing overall releases in Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom in 2012.

Now, word is that director John Madden and writer Ol Parker are getting to work on a sequel with three names set to join the cast. According to Roger Friedman, two names are likely to be Helen Mirren and Colin Firth, while the third key player will be an American actress.

There was reportedly discussions of taking the group of characters somewhere else, in the end it was decided the action would stay in India. It’s expected the likes of Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, Maggie Smith, Celia Imrie and Dev Patel will all return.