Nia Vardalos has announced that production has begun in Athens, Greece, on “My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3,” the second sequel to her hit 2002 family comedy.
But Vardalos also announced a director for the film — confirming that she will in fact be behind the director’s chair for the third installment in the franchise. It will make the film only her second outing as a director and her first in over a decade since directing 2009’s “I Hate Valentine’s Day.”
“Thank you to Playtone, Gold Circle, HBO and Focus! And much love and gratitude to you all for your support as we waited to film. Greece baby. Greece!,” she also added in a caption on Instagram along with a brief video message announcing the film.
Vardalos wrote and starred in “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” from 2002, which netted her an Oscar nomination for Best Original Screenplay but also proved to be a surprise box office smash for an independent film, soaring through word of mouth to $368 million worldwide after opening to just over half a million dollars against a $5 million budget, setting a plethora of box office records in the process.
The original film was a comedy about a Greek woman named Toula who falls in love with a non-Greek man (John Corbett) and is forced to awkwardly introduce him to her large Greek family and their specific cultural customs. The sequel in 2016 was released by Universal Pictures and made a respectable $90 million worldwide, though it was hardly a favorite with critics or fans.
Last year, actor Michael Constantine, who played Vardalos’ father in the original film, passed away, and Vardalos revealed in another Instagram post that he had told her he would be unable to return for the third film due to his health.