The cast of the sequel to 2018’s “Book Club” traces its origin to Las Vegas.

“Candice and I hatched this idea on a trip to Las Vegas when we were promoting the first film at CinemaCon,” said actress Mary Steenburgen, who plays Carol in the film, adding that there wasn’t much hesitation when it came to selecting a location for the sequel. “Candice (Bergen) and I looked at each other and in unison said, ‘Italy!’ We never looked back from that, and I always reminded Bill and Erin, ‘Don’t forget, it has to be in Italy!’”

The film, which includes an all-star cast including Steenburgen and Bergen in addition to Jane Fonda, Diane Keaton, Andy Garcia, Don Johnson, and Craig T. Nelson, chronicles four best friends’ journey to Italy for a girls’ trip. The choice of an overseas trip gave co-writer and producer Erin Simms a challenge.

“It did put us into a box of having to figure out the Italy part of it,” said Simms. “We didn’t really
have to, we could have changed it, but there was something about the idea of Italy that we
loved, so we just never gave up on it.”

Co-writer and director Bill Holderman said the sequel was a challenge to cook up, partly due to expectations based on the success of the first Book Club film.

“As a writer, you want to say that it was super easy, that the sequel wrote itself, that the story came to us and then just flowed, “ says Holderman. “I think because of the pressure that we put on ourselves to make a sequel, we didn’t want to do one just because the first film did well. We were hesitant to even go down the road until we felt like we had a story that we were genuinely excited about.”

An advance screening of Book Club: The Next Chapter will take place at Regal Red Rock at 11011 West Charleston Blvd. on Tuesday, May 2 at 6:15 p.m. Those interested can sign up for a chance to see the movie early by following this link.