It will be a fall family reunion for the My Big Fat Greek Weeding clan, with Focus Features dating the third film in the franchise to a worldwide theatrical release of September 8, 2023.
Nia Vardalos wrote and directed the new film, in which she starred alongside returning cast members John Corbett, Louis Mandylor, Elena Kampouris, Maria Vacratsis, Andrea Martin, Elias Kacavas, Gia Carides, Joey Fatone and Lainie Kazan. Elias Kacavas and Melina Kotselou are joining the family this time.
Tom Hanks, Rita Wilson and Gary Goetzman – who produced all three films – also return, with Paul Brooks, Scott Niemeyer and Steven Shareshian serving as executive producers.
“The sweet friendship that blossomed from the producers giving me my first chance then blossomed into a wonderful relationship when they trusted me to direct this part of our franchise,” said Vardalos. “We shot our family reunion entirely in Greece, which was exciting for all of us. Also, we ate for free.”
The popular franchise began more than 20 years ago with 2002’s “My Big Fat Greek Wedding,” a hit that takes the crown as the highest-grossing romantic comedy of all time, grossing more than $368 million worldwide.
Directed by Joel Zwick, in the film Vardalos wrote and plays the role of Fotoula “Toula” Portokalos, a young Greek-American woman who falls in love with a non-Greek man (John Corbett). Despite her family’s objections, Toula marries him, beginning a hilarious struggle to get her family to accept him while she grapples with her inheritance.
In addition to huge box office success, the film was also a critical hit, with Vardalos earning an Oscar nomination for Best Original Screenplay. The original film inspired the short-lived CBS TV series My Big Fat Greek Life in 2003 and spawned a 2016 sequel My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2, which grossed $90.6 million worldwide.
In June 2022, Vardalos announced via Instagram that filming of the third part was underway in Athens, Greece and that she would direct the project, which would be her second feature film after 2009’s I Hate Valentine’s Day.
Wilson noted, “It’s exciting to have Nia Vardalos, the Oscar-nominated author, not only as our star in front of the camera, but also as our director behind the camera, guiding our beloved cast for this third film, which is on location.” was filmed in Greece. My Big Fat Greek Wedding has been delighting audiences for twenty-one years. I am so happy that more joy is on the way.”
Focus will release My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3 in the US, with Universal Pictures International handling international distribution.
The month of September has been particularly kind for the studios in recent years, with Focus releasing “Downton Abbey” in September 2019 – which opened at #1, grossing $31 million domestically and by the end of the year grossing $194.6 million worldwide -dollar run – and Universal Picture International’s September 2022 release of Ticket to Paradise – which opened at #2, behind only DC’s Black Adam, and grossed $168 million worldwide.