The world lost one of its greatest directorial talents yesterday: the warm, funny Garry Marshall. After directing a legion of other wonderful movies (Pretty Woman, The Runaway Bride, Beaches), Marshall helmed both Princess Diaries films, which begs the question, given the tragic news, will Princess Diaries 3 still happen? Let's rewind just a few months: Marshall was in talks with Disney about a possible third installment for the film and had also mentioned that Anne Hathaway was on board. The future looked very bright indeed. Marshall's own summary of why he was the right man for the job was exactly right:
Anne Hathaway has a baby now… and has a wonderful husband, Adam. And, you know, people change. There’s a passage. It goes, "Hello! Oh, I’m discovered in this movie!" If it’s a comedy, they say, "Alright, enough of that. I want to be an O.D. on drugs in a movie, I want to be naked." And they go through that period. And then, they have a child, and they come back to me and say, "I’d like to make something my child could see." And I’m very good at making things your child see, and the whole family.
Which is totally true. Marshall was great at making entertainment that was both clean and genuinely fun to watch, making him the ideal director for the role.
This said, it's important to note that Marshall's tragic passing does not necessarily mean the third film won't happen. Way back in March, while talking to Vanity Fair on the subject, he "said that, at 81, he is not entirely sure he will direct the follow-up." As such, we could deduce that while Marshall was the driving force behind bringing the project back to the silver screen, potentially Disney had other directors in mind anyway even long before this sad week. The Vanity Fair story also mentions Marshall had Skyped with Julie Andrews as well as Anne Hathaway, suggesting that both leads are interested in returning.
Ultimately, the leads are both in, the original director was the very person who initiated discussions about the film franchise's possible return, and what would be a more loving tribute to Marshall's genius than to finish what he started? Fingers crossed that this all means what I very much think it might mean: one more Princess Diaries movie. Come on, Hollywood. You owe it to Marshall.
Images: Walt Disney Pictures