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Meg's Blog

Princess Diaries 2, the Movie

I was supposed to leave for Portland OR tonight for the first part of my Boy Meets Girl book tour, but the airport in Portland is shut down due to ice! So instead I went out to dinner and guess who was sitting at the table next to mine? Joan Rivers! I would just like to report that in real life, Joan is very polite and not at all loud. It turns out that all my worrying about her rating my outfit as I walked by her table was for nothing. Which is good since I was wearing kind of old jeans.

Anyway, since I have this unexpected night off (I am going to leave for Portland tomorrow, so those of you in Portland—don't cancel your plans to come to my signing! I WILL be there) I thought I'd let you all in on the scoop on the PD2 movie.

Last weekend I got to read the most current script for Princess Diaries 2, the Movie, which is being filmed RIGHT NOW and will be in theaters in August 2004. I say most current because scripts change all the time, but not that much, really.

Anyway, for those of you who are interested:

Most of the cast from the original film will be back, with a few exceptions. More on those in a minute.

First I want to tell you a little bit about how authors sell the film rights of their books. Basically, it goes like this:

A movie studio contacts you and says, “We love this book and would like to make it into a movie.” And you say yes or no. If you say yes, the movie studio sends you a big check. You cash the check and buy cool stuff.

Then, about a year later, you get an invitation to the movie premiere. You go to it and see the movie and meet all the stars. Then you go home.

The End.

People always ask me if I “helped” with the Princess Diaries movie. I really didn't. I don't think Garry Marshall needs “help” to make a movie…especially “help” from a novelist who has absolutely no experience in film-making!

And good thing I didn't help with the first movie, because it did just fine without me…so well that Disney has decided to do a second one.

This time, instead of waiting for my invitation to the premiere to see the movie, I asked if I could read the script in advance. That way I could know what to expect.

So here is what I'm sure some of you are dying to know:

Princess Diaries 2, the Movie, isn't based on Princess in the Spotlight, the second book in the Princess Diaries, or on any of the books, actually. It's an original story written by Disney, starring some of the characters from my books and from the first movie. Garry Marshall has returned as director. The major characters in the second film are:

Queen Clarisse (whom Julie Andrews returns to play)
Mia (Anne Hathaway will be back to play Mia)
Lilly (Heather Matarrazzo returns to play Lilly)
Mia's mom (same actress)
Mia's teacher (same actor)
Paolo (same actor)
And
Joseph (played by Hector Elizondo, same as in the first film)

Oh, and Fat Louie.

The characters who will not be in the second movie are:

Lana, Josh, Jeremiah, and Michael.

The reason the first three will not be back is because at the beginning of the 2nd film, Mia is graduating from college, so she no longer hangs with her high school pals (except Lilly of course).

And Michael isn't in this movie because the actor who plays him, Robert Carmine (he changed his name from Schwartzman), is busy touring with his band, Rooney (did you see him on The OC last night? So cute!). In the movie, Michael is also off touring with his band. In the second film, Mia has decided that Michael was not her one true love after all (um, most likely because he chose his band over her) and she is actively looking for her Prince Charming.

VERY IMPORTANT: I DID NOT WRITE THIS MOVIE. I DID NOT EVEN HELP WITH THE STORY. WHAT HAPPENS IN THE MOVIE WILL NOT BE WHAT HAPPENS IN THE BOOKS. BUT THAT DOESN'T MEAN THE MOVIE WON'T BE TOTALLY FUN. OK?

Which is not to say Mia and Michael won't ever break up in the books, because they may. But while I have had Mia's life story planned since before I started the first book, I didn't share my plans for what's going to happen to her down the line with Disney (or anyone else, for that matter—except my editors, who are sworn to secrecy). So no one outside of that circle knows what's going to happen to these characters.

However, Disney's version of what THEY think is going to happen to my characters is great. The script for the sequel is really funny. In it, new college grad Mia goes back to Genovia for the first time since her trip at the end of the last film, and gets a nasty surprise from the sexist Genovian parliament—she has 30 days to find a suitable royal husband, or the crown will go to the next (male) heir in line to the throne!

The story is pretty hilarious, with LOTS of princess stuff, and yet also with the same geeky charm of the first film. I mean, Mia is still her klutzy self, even though she's an Ivy League grad. Lilly has already been arrested multiple times for her activism. Clarisse is queenly, but not too queenly. There are TONS of cute guys (well, I assume they're cute. The script IMPLIES that they are).

So, that's it. Wish I could say more, but I don't want to give anything else away!!!!
There WILL be some surprises (don't worry, all of them good).

Next time I report, it will be from Portland OR (hopefully).

Love,

Meg