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David Strathairn Joins 'The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel 2'

David Strathairn
David Strathairn

The "Good Night, and Good Luck" star joins Judi Dench, Maggie Smith and new addition, Richard Gere, in the Fox Searchlight sequel, which has begun production.

David Strathairn has joined Fox Searchlight's Best Exotic Marigold Hotel 2, which has begun production in India.

Strathairn joins a star-studded cast in the follow-up to 2012's surprise international hit.  The sequel features returning stars Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Bill Nighy and Dev Patel, alongside new additions Richard Gere and Episodes' Tamsin Greig.

Strathairn previously received a best actor Oscar nomination for his role in Good Night, and Good Luck. He will next be seen in Godzilla and recently starred in Lincoln, The Bourne LegacyUltimatum and the HBO movie Hemingway & Gellhorn.

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The sequel explores Patel's character's dreams of expansion, now that The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel for the Elderly and Beautiful only has a single vacant room, which poses a predicament for arriving guests Guy (Gere) and Lavinia (Greig). Patel's character is also preparing for a traditional Indian wedding to the love of his life. Meanwhile, Evelyn (Dench) and Douglas (Nighy) have joined the Jaipur workforce and are wondering where their regular dates for Chilla pancakes will lead.

Director John Madden returns to helm the sequel, which was written by Ol Parker from a story by Parker and Madden.

Fox Searchlight will distribute the title worldwide and is co-financing the film with Participant Media and Image Nation Abu Dhabi. The film marks the first-ever sequel for Fox Searchlight.

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Blueprint Pictures' Graham Broadbent and Peter Czernin will produce the film. Participant's Jeff Skoll is serving as executive producer.

"This film presented us with an irresistible opportunity: to continue a story we realized we had only just begun. Not to tell the same story again, but to pursue where the lives of these very different characters lead, with an audience which already holds them in great affection," Madden said in a statement.

Broadbent added: "What are the odds of being able to re-assemble this extraordinary group of actors and filmmakers, let alone to add to their number? We found a worldwide audience we never dreamed of for the first, and we feel very lucky to have the chance now to bring them this companion film."

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel earned more than $135 million at the global box office and was nominated for Golden Globe, BAFTA and SAG awards.