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Opa! TODAY goes behind the scenes of the 'My Big Fat Greek Wedding' sequel

"We're calling this the Greekquel," Nia Vardalos told TODAY's Savannah Guthrie. "And if we do a third one, we'll call it the Threekquel."
/ Source: TODAY

It's been 13 years since its release, but "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" is getting a long-awaited sequel.

"We're calling this the Greekquel," the film's breakout star, Nia Vardalos, told TODAY's Savannah Guthrie. "And if we do a third one, we'll call it the Threekquel."

Once referred to as "the little movie that could," the original "Greek Wedding" follows the Portokalos family as they prepare and hold a ceremony for Toula (played by Vardalos) and her not-so-Greek fiancé, Ian (John Corbett). Released in 2002, the indie comedy charmed audiences worldwide and shocked Hollywood insiders with its box-office prowess, raking in more than $241 million domestically.

The original movie was the brainchild of Vardalos, who transformed the story of her outlandish but lovable Greek family into one of the most successful independent films of all time. More than a dozen years later, production on the next chapter is underway.

When Guthrie asked her why it took so long, Vardalos cited the first movie's ending. "The reason I didn't want to do the sequel is because at the end of the first one, I had written that we were parents," the actress said. "And in reality, I was not a parent. Even though I make stuff up, I couldn't write from a place of emotions that I didn't know."

That changed "so instantly, so suddenly" in 2008, when she and her husband, fellow actor Ian Gomex, adopted a little girl. Once that happened, she wasn't afraid to take on what many successful screenwriters find intimidating: penning a successful sequel. "I consider myself a fearless idiot," she said with a laugh. "I think you gotta just jump in. If you try to be authentic, you've already been successful."

But with a new perspective and thoughts of a new script, would Vardalos be able to convince Corbett to return for the sequel?

"The truth is, I didn't think it was over," Corbett told TODAY. "After a decade of hearing, 'Hmm, I don't know, I don't have any ideas really,' I just sort of gave up. And so it was really a huge surprise when — I guess just about this time last year — she called and said, 'I got an idea. What do you think? Do you want to do it?' And nobody on this team was happier than me."

Not only did he say he didn't need convincing to come back for a second movie, he hinted at even more "stories" to come.

Although the plot of the second movie is being kept secret, the title is not. It's the simple yet straightforward, "My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2," slated for a March 2016 release.

Warned Vardalos, "If we tell you what the sequel is about, then we have to stuff you in our trunk of a car, and take you out back to Arizona, and you'd have to live in your mom's basement … until March."

Follow writer Chris Serico on Twitter.