Good news for anyone who can quote all of Aunt Voula’s lines in “My Big Fat Greek Wedding": The Portokalos family is officially returning.
In June, the movie’s creator Nia Vardalos took to Instagram to share the news that “My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3” has begun filming in Greece, following pandemic-related delays. The star shared that they are currently filming in Plaka, the center of Athens.
Vardalos, who wrote both the original and the sequel, also shared that — in addition to writing and starring — she will be directing “My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3.” Fitting with the movie’s theme, Vardalos announced the news by introducing the word "director" in Greek.
“Thank you so much for the lovely messages of waiting,” Vardalos said, referring to the six years since the sequel came out in 2016.
She also thanked “Playtone, Gold Circle, HBO and Focus” in the caption for working with her to make the film, and sent "love and gratitude" for fans' "support as we waited to film."
Earlier this year, Vardalos celebrated the original movie’s 20th anniversary. Released in 2002 by an indie movie distributor, “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” went on to become the highest-grossing romantic comedy of all time, despite not having studio backing or a major star.
Vardalos recalled how she was fired by agents and managers after she turned in the script. Believing in her story, Vardalos put on a one-woman show, which caught the eye of Greek-American Rita Wilson and her husband, Tom Hanks.
“Rita Wilson saw the play and said, ‘This should be a movie,’” Vardalos recalled.
At the core of the movie franchise is a cross-cultural love story. Toula Portokalos (Vardalos) is raised in a large Greek-American family — and at 30, she falls for her family’s worst nightmare: A non-Greek. Toula and Ian (John Corbett) have a strong connection, and throughout the film, they try to withstand efforts from her disapproving family to keep them apart. Luckily, while Toula is exasperated by her family, Ian is amused, and he ends up fitting right in.
The sequel follows Ian and Toula, now living next door to Toula’s parents, as they prepare to send their daughter Paris (Elena Kampouris) off to college. This time, Toula's parents are the ones getting married.
Just based on Vardalos’ announcement, “My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3” will differ from the preceding movies in one major way: Whereas the others were set in Chicago, this movie will take place in Greece. They’re swapping out the faux columns of the Dancing Zorba diner for the real things.
In October, Vardalos shared that the script was complete, and gave away a tidbit: “Toula and Ian are not grandparents,” she wrote on Instagram.
The first two movies had “big, fat Greek” weddings in them. Based on precedent, the third most likely will, too — but no word on who might be walking down the aisle.
The movie will also address another change. Michael Constantine, who played Toula’s father Gus, died in Sept. 2021.
“He had told me he wouldn’t be able to join us for the third film and his wish was that we go on. I wrote the screenplay to reflect Michael’s decision and will always treasure his last messages to me,” Vardalos wrote on Instagram.
We can’t recommend spraying Windex on your popcorn to commemorate Constantine.