There was great delight taken in the streets of Genovia following the news that a new Princess Diaries film was officially in the works at Disney. The iconic romantic comedy from 2001 launched its star Anne Hathaway into stardom via her role as Mia Thermopolis, and the film – and its sequel A Royal Engagement – are beloved by families to this day.
The coming-of-age story of an awkward American teenager finding herself thrust into the role as the heir to the throne of a fictional European country caught the imagination of many, with Disney legend Julie Andrews playing the Queen of Genovia – Mia’s grandmother. However, Andrews has now cast doubt on the film actually going ahead in a form most would like to see – that of a sequel. Speaking with the Hollywood Reporter, Andrews discussed her reasoning for why it may not proceed.
I think we know that it’s probably not going to be possible. It was talked about very shortly after two came out, but it’s now how many years since then? And I am that much older and Annie the princess, or queen, is so much older. And I am not sure where it would float or run. In terms of us doing it, I doubt that now. I think it would be too late to do it now. There was talk of a sequel many, many years ago. But I don’t think it ever came to pass. And Garry then did leave us. [For] especially me, it’s too far down the line now to go back to it. It’s a lovely thought, but I don’t think it would probably be possible.
Another factor mentioned above by Andrews included the death of the original director, Garry Marshall, whom Andrews noted was a major factor in her taking the role to begin with.
“The humor and the understanding of human nature,” Andrews said of why she joined the franchise. “I think also it was the idea of the story, of course, but he was incredibly generous. When I first met him, and I had never met him until the role was being talked about, he asked some fabulous questions, like, where do you think Genovia is? What do you think Genovia is famous for? I said something idiotic like, ‘The nuns in the country would’ve made lace and exported it, and maybe they’re famous for their very beautiful pear trees and their pears.’ Well, we had pears all over the set and lace costumes. He embraced what everyone cared to offer.”
If the film does go ahead as planned, it has an impressive legacy to live up to, with the two original films combined earning $300 million at the worldwide box office.