Mrs Doubtfire 2 had been proposed as early as 2001, but why did it never make it to the big screen?
When acting legend Robin Williams tragically passed away on 11 August, he left behind three adult children, a wife and a legion of fans heartbroken at the loss of such a talent. He also left behind a dense catalogue of hilarity, impressive drama and a cacophony of characters that only he could bring to life.
Robin Williams transformed into Mrs Doubtfire at the Cannes Film Festival
One of these characters was the unconventional Mrs. Doubtfire, first released on the public in 1993.
The film followed Williams’ Daniel Hillard, a voice-over actor, struggling with the aftermath of his marriage break-down and the affect this has on his relationship with his kids. Unable to see his children regularly, Hillard turns himself into Mrs Euphegenia Doubtfire, a Scottish nanny, and successfully gains a position in his old household as the eccentric ‘lady’.
Mrs Doubtfire was a box office hit and, despite some initial mixed reviews, was placed 67th in the American Film Institute’s 100 Years, 100 Laughs: America’s Funniest Movies - a list of the 100 funniest movies of the 20th Century.
On the back of such success, it was perhaps inevitable that a sequel would become a possibility but the road to Mrs Doubtfire 2 was paved with difficulties that have surely become insurmountable following Williams’ death.
Writing for Mrs Doubtfire 2 started way back in 2001 by American actress Bonnie Hunt, Williams’ co-star in the 1995 fantasy adventure film, Jumanji. However, it was alleged that Williams was unhappy with the plot and re-writing began in 2006 with the movie expected to be released in 2007.
Robin Williams brought characters like Mrs Doubtfire to life like no other actor could
The sequel’s story was said to be centred around Mrs Doubtfire moving closer to his daughter’s college so he could keep an eye on her; however, further script problems led to the project being entirely scrapped in mid-2006 with Williams confirming to BBC Radio 1’s Edith Bowman that the project was not going ahead.
He reportedly said: "If it’s not going to be done right, then it’s not going to be done."
The idea was put on hold for a number of years until director Chris Columbus stated in 2013 that he and Williams had been talking about Mrs Doubtfire 2. Clearly those talks were more successful that previous attempts as, by April 2014, a sequel was in development at Fox 2000, with The Hollywood Reporter reporting that both Columbus and Williams were due to return and Elf screenwriter, David Berenbaum, was writing the script.
Unfortunately, the untimely death of Williams, the lynchpin of this project and surely the only actor worthy of putting on the Doubtfire suit again, seems to have put sequel plans on hold indefinitely.
Columbus released a statement about his long-time friend, describing his unique ability to create characters. He said: "His performances were unlike anything any of us had ever seen, they came from some spiritual and otherworldy place.
"He truly was one of the few people who deserved the title of ‘genius’."
While some may mourn the loss of Mrs Doubtfire 2, the resurgence of the character will surely please all those others who take the time out to watch and re-appreciate this fantastic film.