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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The Atlantic: You saw that the Academy Awards recently held up your 2001 acceptance speech as the Platonic ideal of an Oscar speech. Did you have a reaction?

Soderbergh: Shock and dismay. When that popped up and people started texting me about it, I said, “Oh, it’s too bad I’m not there to tell the story of how that took place.” Well. I was not sober at the time. And I had nothing prepared because I knew I wasn’t going to win [Best Director for Traffic]. I figured Ridley, Ang or Daldry would win. So I was hitting the bar pretty hard, having a great night, feeling super-relaxed because I don’t have to get up there. So the combination of a 0.4 blood alcohol level and lack of preparation resulted in me, in my state of drunkenness crossed with adrenaline surge. I was coherent enough to know that [if I tried to thank everyone], that way lies destruction. So I went the other way. There were some people who appreciated that, and there were some people who really wanted to hear their names said, and I had to apologize to them.
~ Steven Soderbergh

 

“I have made few films in a way. I never made action films. I never made science fiction films. I never made, really, very complicated settings, because I had modest ambitions. I knew they would never trust me to have the budget to do something different, so my mind is more focused on things I know. So they were always mental adventures I wanted to approach and share. Working for cinema with no – not only no money, but also no ambition for money. I was happy and proud [to receive the honorary Oscar] because of that, that [the Academy] could understand what kind of work I have done over 60 years. I stayed faithful to the ideal of sharing emotion, impressions, and mostly because I have so much empathy for other people that I approach people who are not really spoken about. I have 65 years of work in my bag, and when I put the bag down, what comes out? It’s really the desire of finding links and relationships with different kinds of people. I never made a film about the bourgeoisie, about rich people. about nobility. My choices have been to show people that are, in a way, more common and see that each of them has something special and interesting, rare and beautiful. It’s my natural way of looking at people. I didn’t fight my instincts. And maybe that has been appreciated in the famous circle of Hollywood.“

Agnes Varda