Fox Searchlight Pictures President of Production Claudia Lewis and Participant Media President Ricky Strauss announced today that principal photography for The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel will begin on October 10th in India. John Madden (Shakespeare in Love) will direct an all star cast in the comedy The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel from a script by Ol Parker and Deborah Moggach based on the novel by Deborah Moggach. The film will star Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Tom Wilkinson, Bill Nighy and Dev Patel and be produced by Graham Broadbent and Peter Czernin of Blueprint Pictures. Fox Searchlight Pictures has worldwide rights and they will co-finance the film with Participant Media and Imagenation Abu Dhabi.
“We’re honored to have John at the helm of this film, a director with a deft hand in both comedy and drama,” said Lewis. “And to welcome back esteemed actors from the Searchlight fold such as Judi, Bill, Tom, Dev as well as the other members of our exceptional cast.”
Strauss said, “We’re thrilled to be partnering with Fox Searchlight for this amazing lineup of talent and a story thats engaging, optimistic, funny and romantic, yet still manages to deal with the real issues that people today are facing everywhere.”
Madden said, “This is a gorgeous script witty, moving and hilarious with a wonderful feel for its subject India. It’s rare to find one that traverses comedy, romance, and melancholy with such a lightness of touch and it’s proved to be a magnet for the cast of your dreams: actors I know and would want to work with in every film Judi Dench, Tom Wilkinson; and actors I’d feel lucky to be in the room with Maggie Smith, Bill Nighy, Dev Patel, and an amazing ensemble. It’s a great project about a world that defies all categorization. No one could come to India and not be changed by it.”
“We have the best of Britain’s actors, the incomparable John Madden directing, a fresh and funny script about ‘outsourcing’ retirement, and amazing partners in Fox and Participant. We’re very excited to get started,” said Broadbent.
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel follows a group of British retirees who decide to “outsource” their retirement to less expensive and seemingly exotic India. Enticed by advertisements for the newly restored Marigold Hotel and bolstered with visions of a life of leisure, they arrive to find the palace a shell of its former self. Though the new environment is less luxurious than imagined, they are forever transformed by their shared experiences, discovering that life and love can begin again when you let go of the past.
The project will be overseen by Senior Vice President of Production Zola Mashariki and Creative Executive DanTram Nguyen for Fox Searchlight and Executive Vice President of Production Jonathan King and Creative Executive Angel Lopez for Participant Media.