Sixteen years after the film first hit theaters, Meg Cabot chats about differences between the books and movies and her hopes for Genovia to hit Broadway
This weekend marks 16 years since The Princess Diaries introduced moviegoers to the small European nation of Genovia and its less-than-coordinated princess, Mia Thermopolis — brought to life by Oscar winner Anne Hathaway, in her feature film debut. Garry Marshall’s film and its 2004 sequel are based on the best-selling young adult novels (of which there are now 14) by Meg Cabot.
But what of another movie? Earlier this year, costar Julie Andrews, who plays Clarisse in the franchise, said she and Hathaway were willing to do it as a tribute to Marshall, who died in July 2016. “I think we might do it in honor of him,” Andrews said to BuzzFeed. “Annie had an idea that she wanted to pursue about it, and I’m all for it, so if she’d like to.”
Speaking to EW, Cabot confirmed there’s interest in going forward with Princess Diaries 3, “kind of as a tribute” to Marshall — but cautioned she had not heard anything more about the film beyond that a script exists. “So, who knows? [It] could happen, as we say,” Cabot said.
In addition to the two Disney films, Mia & Co. have been featured in one adult novel, Royal Wedding, and a series of middle grade books called From the Notebooks of a Middle School Princess — the third of which is on sale Aug. 1 — featuring Mia’s much younger half-sister, Olivia.
As for what the third Princess Diaries film would include, Cabot isn’t talking. “I am not allowed to say,” she said with a laugh. “I would love to sit and talk about [it], but I can’t. I’m not allowed. But it’s really more following the movie than the books, so if she — the last version I read, she definitely did not find out that she has a biracial younger sister … which I personally would’ve thought was hilarious, but that was not the direction they were going.”
“I think of them as two different universes,” Cabot added of the series and its films. “Like there’s The Princess Diaries universe that I created, which is, you know, amazing, and the Disney universe, that they created, which is equally amazing. And, you know, there’s fans of both, and fans who actually kind of like both of them at the same time.”
And while a Princess Diaries 3 remains something of an enigma, Cabot does have one version of the story she’d love to see. “Actually, the one thing I’m really hoping for is a musical, so I hope we have a Broadway musical … obviously, somebody has to write the music and lyrics, and I’m not gonna do that because that’s not where my talents lie,” she said. “So I’m just keeping my fingers crossed that some day we’re gonna get one of those. That would be so fun.”