Judi Dench, Maggie Smith and the other veteran thesps from the original all want to come back

Plans are apparently underway for a sequel to this year’s surprise smash The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.

Based on the novel These Foolish Things by Deborah Moggach, the film centred on a motley crew of British pensioners moving to a retirement hotel. Alongside Slumdog Millionaire actor Dev Patel, the film boasted an ensemble cast of veteran British thesps, including Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Bill Nighy, Tom Wilkinson and Penelope Wilton.

Made for just $10 million (£6 million), The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel went on to make over $134 million (£83 million) worldwide, placing it among the most profitable movies of 2012. It was helmed by Mrs Brown director John Madden with a script adapted from Moggach’s novel by Ol Parker.

According to Vulture, Parker is about to deliver a treatment for a sequel to Fox Searchlight, the specialist studio that funded the original. Apparently the principal cast “all wants to come back”.

Meanwhile, Judi Dench is currently taking centre stage as M in new Bond movie Skyfall. The film has just scored the second best opening weekend in UK box office history, while Dench is being tipped as an Oscar nomination for her memorable turn as Bond’s commanding officer.