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Familiar faces arrive in 'The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel' trailer

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The first trailer for The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is out, and it’s ready to charm.

The film is directed by John Madden and written by Ol Parker, who both worked on 2011’s The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, a surprise hit. This marks the first sequel ever for Fox Searchlight.

The followup has Sonny (Dev Patel) and Muriel (Maggie Smith) as co-managers of the hotel. It will see the return of familiar faces—Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, Celia Imrie, Ronald Pickup, Penelope Wilton, Diana Hardcastle, Tena Desae, and Lillete Dubey—and the arrival of new ones, too, including Richard Gere, David Strathairn, and Tamsin Greig.

In the trailer, Sonny and Muriel discuss the hotel’s condition, and there’s a, err, warm welcome for one of its new arrivals, Guy (Gere). The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel hits theaters March 6, 2015.

Casting Net: Andrew Garfield teams up with Scorsese; Plus James Franco joins 3-D Wim Wenders drama, more

• Martin Scorsese has found a new leading man in Andrew Garfield (The Amazing Spider-Man) for his feature Silence, based on Shusaku Endo’s 1966 Japanese-language novel. The fictional story follows a 17th century Portuguese Jesuit missionary to Japan. Ken Watanabe (Inception) also stars in the film, which will be largely shot in Japanese. At one point, Daniel Day-Lewis and Benicio del Toro were going to star in the film. [Variety]

• James Franco is set to join Paris, Texas director Wim Wenders’  upcoming drama Everything Will Be Fine, about a writer who kills a child accidentally. The story will follow Thomas (Franco) for 12 years after the accident as he attempts to live a normal life. Sarah Polley (Splice) also stars. Wenders plans to make the film in 3-D — his second using the format. His first was the 2011 Oscar-nominated documentary Pina. [THR]

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Best of 2012 (Behind the Scenes): 'The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel' director John Madden on filming in India

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, directed by John Madden, dunks seven veteran British actors — Judi Dench, Tom Wilkinson, Bill Nighy, Penelope Wilton, Maggie Smith, Ronald Pickup, and Celia Imrie — into the hot, steamy inner sanctum of India, playing retirees who take up residence at an old hotel more dilapidated than originally advertised. Madden tells EW about the experience filming in and outside the Indian cities of Jaipur and Udaipur, from the heat on set to the difficulty of getting sound and the right shots as crowds flocked around the cast and crew.

For more stories behind this year’s top TV and movie moments, click here for EW.com’s Best of 2012 (Behind the Scenes) coverageREAD FULL STORY

'Quartet' trailer: Maggie Smith makes beautiful music

Following fast on the heels of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Quartet is yet another entry in the fast-expanding subgenre of Retiree Dramedy. A whole cavalcade of white-haired British greats — Maggie Smith, Billy Connolly, Tom Courtenay, and Michael Gambon — play spry elders living together in a retirement home. But this is no mere retirement home [record scratch]… it’s a retirement home for opera singers. Sundry frisky shenanigans ensue. Your mom already loves this movie. (Oh, by the way, it’s directed by some newcomer named Dustin Hoffman.) Watch the trailer below: READ FULL STORY

'The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel': Director John Madden on that amazing cast, and filming in the 'chaos' of India -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

This Friday, American movie theaters will be blessed by two ensemble movies boasting a dream cast of top-tier actors in their field. It’s fair to say that the vast majority of audiences will only see one of them: The superhero opus The Avengers.

But some lucky, adventurous moviegoers will treat themselves to The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, which has arguably assembled the most accomplished company of British acting talent since the final Harry Potter movie: Judi Dench, Tom Wilkinson, Bill Nighy, Maggie Smith, Penelope Wilton (Downton Abbey), and Dev Patel (Slumdog Millionaire), as well as two actors just as adept, if likely unfamiliar, to most Americans, Celia Imrie (Bridget Jones’s Diary) and Ronald Pickup (Prince of Persia: Sands of Time).

The film follows a group of new retirees who for various reasons throw caution to the wind and travel to an Indian retirement hotel (run by Patel’s character) that they found on the Internet. “We’re blessed with a pretty decent pool of actors in that age range in the U.K.,” director John Madden (Shakespeare in Love) tells EW with a chuckle. “It was a beautiful piece to cast.” And with a cast like this, Madden was determined to play to everyone’s strengths.  READ FULL STORY

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