Alcon Entertainment has solidified plans for a sequel to their 2011 hit A Dolphin Tale. Stars Morgan Freeman, Harry Connick Jr, Ashley Judd, and Kris Kristofferson will return along with helmer Charles Martin Smith, who directed the first based-on-a-true-story pic. Real life rescued dolphin Hope will play herself in the film:

LOS ANGELES, CA, July 26, 2013 – Alcon Entertainment has green lit Dolphin Tale 2, a follow up to its successful 2011 Warner Bros release, it was announced by co-founders and co-CEOs Andrew Kosove and Broderick Johnson. The entire cast of Dolphin Tale will reunite for the sequel, including Harry Connick Jr., Academy Award winner Morgan Freeman, Academy Award nominee Kris Kristofferson, Emmy and Golden Globe Award nominee Ashley Judd, Nathan Gamble and Cozi Zuehlsdorff, among others. Charles Martin Smith (“Dolphin Tale,” “Air Bud”) has written the screenplay and will again direct.

The fact-based adaptation Dolphin Tale was originally brought to Alcon by the Company’s President Of Worldwide Marketing, Richard Ingber, who also produced, and will serve as a producer on the sequel. Dolphin Tale 2 tells another true story inspired by the life of the rescued bottle nose dolphin, Winter, this time involving a new baby dolphin named Hope who was also saved and rehabilitated by the Clearwater Marine Aquarium in 2010.

Filming for Dolphin Tale 2 will begin in Clearwater, Florida in October of this year. Distributor Warner Bros is setting September 19, 2014 release date. Winter, who still resides at the Aquarium, played herself in the original film and returns in DT2. Hope will play herself in the sequel.

Get Deadline news and alerts sent to your inbox.