In a reveal that is sure to conjure some serious fan fiction about what might have been, Kevin Costner has confirmed that the late Princess of Wales, the former Diana Spencer, was in talks to star alongside him in a 1997 sequel to the 1992 hit film The Bodyguard, prior to her passing.
In the original film, Costner played a private security bodyguard who is hired to protect a music superstar played by Whitney Houston, who was making her acting debut. The sequel would apparently have had a similar structure, with Diana playing a social/media figure similar in stature to herself, and Costner once again being assigned as bodyguard, where romance could bloom.
“The studio liked the idea of doing a Bodyguard 2,” said Costner to PeopleTV, describing Diana’s role “in the same kind of capacity as Whitney. Nobody really knew that for about a year.”
According to Costner, the first script for the film arrived on his desk not a day before Diana was infamously killed in a car crash on Aug. 31, 1997. She was only 36 years old. Understandably, The Bodyguard 2 was then shelved, and it was never revived.
Still, it would seem that Costner had some time to get to know his prospective co-star, at least over the phone. According to quotes he gave to People, the two spoke on the phone about such topics as Diana’s apprehensions when it came to romantic scenes.
“I just remember her being incredibly sweet on the phone, and she asked the question, ‘Are we going to have, like a kissing scene?’” Costner said. “She said it in a very respectful … she was a little nervous because her life was very governed. And I said, ‘Yeah, there’s going to be a little bit of that, but we can make that OK too.’”
Given the popularity of both Costner and Diana in the 1990s, one can be certain that The Bodyguard 2 would have been an absolute publicity bonanza. The original film wasn’t particularly well reviewed by critics, and was nominated for multiple Razzie Awards, but went on to make $411 million regardless, making it the second highest grossing film of 1992. The soundtrack, meanwhile, went on to become the #1 selling film soundtrack of all time, thanks to Houston. With that kind of cultural impact, we can only wonder what The Bodyguard 2 would have looked like, starring Princess Diana.