‘The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’ sequel to start shooting in January

Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Penelope Wilton and Bill Nighy are all set to return

The stars of last year’s surprise golden oldies hit The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel will start shooting a sequel in January, Penelope Wilton has confirmed.

Based on the novel These Foolish Things by Deborah Moggach, the original film followed a motley crew of British pensioners forced to relocate to a retirement hotel in India. Alongside Slumdog Millionaire actor Dev Patel, it boasted an ensemble cast of veteran British thesps including Wilton, Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Bill Nighy, Tom Wilkinson and Celia Imrie.

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. In October 2012 it was reported that the film’s screenwriter Ol Parker was about to submit a treatment for a sequel to Fox Searchlight, the specialist studio that funded the original.

Now Wilton has confirmed that the sequel is definitely going ahead. “We had a wonderful time shooting this film the first time and I am thrilled we will be going back in January to do another one,” she told the Radio Times. “As far as I know everybody will be returning.”

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel was directed by John Madden (Mrs Brown, Shakespeare In Love) but at present it is unknown whether he is back on board for the sequel.