As far as sequels go, one film that most people wouldn’t consider to be begging for one would have to be The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, which employed a slew of classy, established thesps to tell a genial, feel-good story about retirees finding a new lease on life. However, Fox Searchlight is certainly not blind – that 2012 flick grossed $130 million worldwide on a budget of around $10 million – so now audiences are getting a follow-up, officially titled The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.
Today, the first trailer for the sequel, which opens next year, has arrived, promising exactly the same sort of cinematic diversion – which should be perfectly acceptable to the same crowd which made The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel a hit. John Madden is back in the director’s chair, and many of the same stars are reprising their roles, including Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Bill Nighy and Dev Patel. New to the cast this time around is Richard Gere, playing a newcomer to the hotel.
Whether or not a second entry in this unlikely franchise has anything new to add remains to be seen – but we’ll find out soon enough. The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel opens for business on March 6th, 2015.
THE SECOND BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL is the expansionist dream of Sonny (Dev 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 (Tina Desai). 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 (Richard Gere) and Lavinia (Tamsin Greig). Evelyn and Douglas (Judi Dench and Bill Nighy) have now joined the Jaipur workforce, and are wondering where their regular dates for Chilla pancakes will lead, while Norman and Carol (Ronald Pickup and Diana Hardcastle) are negotiating the tricky waters of an exclusive relationship, as Madge (Celia 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 (Maggie 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.