By MCN Editor editor@moviecitynews.com

“THE BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL” TO BEGIN PRINCIPAL PHOTOGRAPHY

John Madden to direct all star cast with Dame Judi Dench, Dame Maggie Smith, Tom Wilkinson, Bill Nighy and Dev Patel

LOS ANGELES, CA October 6, 2010 – Fox Searchlight Pictures President of Production Claudia Lewis and Participant Media President Ricky Strauss announced today that 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 that’s 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.

Fox Searchlight Pictures is a specialty film company that both finances and acquires motion pictures. It has its own marketing and distribution operations, and its films are distributed internationally by Twentieth Century Fox. Fox Searchlight Pictures is a unit of Fox Filmed Entertainment, a unit of Fox Entertainment Group.

Participant Media (participantmedia.com) is a Los Angeles-based global entertainment company specializing in socially-relevant documentary and non-documentary feature films, television, publishing and digital media. Participant exists to tell compelling, entertaining stories that bring to the forefront real issues that shape our lives. For each of its projects, Participant creates extensive social action and advocacy programs, which provide ideas and tools to transform the impact of the media experience into individual and community action. Participant’s online Social Action Network is TakePart (takepart.com).

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DEADLINE: How does a visualist feel about people watching your films on a phone or VOD?
REFN: It depends on what kind of movie you make. We had great success with Only God Forgives on multiple platforms in the U.S. Young people will decide how they see it, when they want to see it. Don’t try to fight it. Embrace it. That’s a wonderful opportunity. We’re at the most exciting time since the invention of the wheel, in terms of creativity because distribution and accessibility have changed everything. A camera is still a camera whether it’s digital or not; there’s still sound; an actor is an actor. Ninety-nine percent of what you do is going to be seen on a smart phone – I know this is the greatest thing ever made because it allows people to choose, watching what you do on this format or go into a theater and see it on a screen. That means more people than ever will see what I do, which is personally satisfying in terms of vanity. But you have to be able to adapt, to accept things in different order and length than we’re used to. We are in a very, very exciting time.
~ Nic Refn to Jen Yamato

DEADLINE: You mention Tarantino, who with Christopher Nolan and a few other giants, saved film stock from extinction. To him, showing a digital film in a theater is the equivalent of watching TV in public. Make an argument for why digital is a good film making canvas.
REFN: Costwise, it’s a very effective way for young people to start making movies. You can make your movie on an iPhone. It’s wonderful seeing how my own children use technology to enhance creativity. For me it’s a wonderful canvas. Sure, I love grain in film. I love celluloid. But I also like creativity. I like crayons, I like pencils, I like paint. It’s all relative. Technology is more inclusive. A hundred years ago when film was invented, it was an elitist club. Very few people got to make it, very few people controlled it and very few people owned it. A hundred years later, storytelling through images is everyone’s domain. It’s ultimate capitalism. There are no rules, and no barriers and no Hays Code. Where does this go in another hundred years? I don’t know but I would love to see it.
~ Nic Refn To Jen Yamato