10 January 2014 9:00 AM, PST | Moviefone | See recent Moviefone news »

When "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" was released back in 2012, it turned into something of a sleeper hit, grossing more than $100 million worldwide and firmly placing it amongst specialty smashes of the year (alongside "Moonrise Kingdom" and "To Rome With Love"). Still, it seems like an unlikely film to warrant a sequel, but that's just what it's getting, in the form of "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel 2."

Fox announced that production on the sequel started today (via Coming Soon), with director John Madden and screenwriter Ol Parker returning behind the scenes. In front of the camera, Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Bill Nighy, Dev Patel, Celia Imrie, Ronald Pickup, Penelope Wilton, Diana Hardcastle, Tena Desae, and Lillete Dubey are all set to return. What's more -- new cast members Richard Gere, David Strathairn, and Tamsin Greig will join the original cast, for a lovely expansion of the franchise. That's right, »

- Drew Taylor

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