The late Princess Diana was reportedly scheduled to star in a sequel to The Bodyguard, according to Kevin Costner, who revealed the production backstory that preceded the Princess of Wales’ 1997 death in Paris. Directed by Mick Jackson and written by Lawrence Kasdan, The Bodyguard released in 1992. Costner portrays the titular character Frank Farmer, and Whitney Houston co-stars as pop singer Rachel Marron. The film marked Houston’s feature debut, and was relatively progressive at the time given the on-screen romance between a black musician and a white bodyguard.
Produced for $25 million, The Bodyguard earned $411 million at the box office, thus elevating the star power of both leads. In addition, The Bodyguard features the best-selling soundtrack of all time, anchored by the instantly iconic Houston singles “I Will Always Love You,” “I’m Every Woman,” “Queen of the Night,” “I Have Nothing,” and “Run to You.” At the time of Princess Diana’s tragic 1997 death, Houston had appeared in two more films, Waiting to Exhale and The Preacher’s Wife. Meanwhile, Costner starred in numerous dramas that failed to match The Bodyguard’s cultural influence.
During an interview with People TV, Costner revealed that Princess Diana was in talks to star in The Bodyguard’s sequel. He also notes that the Duchess of York, Sarah Ferguson, initiated the conversation, and that she didn’t push to be involved with the production. Costner recalls, “She never said, ‘Well, what about me? I’m a princess too.’ She was just so supportive of the idea.” At the time, Princess Diana had never appeared in a film, but she clearly wasn’t afraid of crossing over into mainstream cinema. Still, Costner remembers her cautious demeanor while inquiring about a kissing scene: “She was 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 okay too.'" Costner reportedly received the sequel's script one day before Princess Diana passed away.
The Bodyguard sequel would’ve detailed Farmer's attempts to protect Princess Diana’s character from stalkers and paparazzi. Sadly, the Princess of Wales died after trying to flee from photographers in a Pont de l'Alma road tunnel in Paris. In 1999, a French investigation found that Princess Diana’s driver, Henri Paul, was responsible for the crash. Diana’s companion, Dodi Fayed, also died in the accident. The tragedy inspired Elton John and Bernie Taupin to re-write their 1974 single “Candle in the Wind,” which has since been primarily associated with Princess Diana’s death. In 2012, the original star of The Bodyguard, Houston, passed away at the age of 48 in Beverly Hills, California.
At some point, Costner may choose to move forward with The Bodyguard’s sequel. But given the magnitude of the original film’s influence, along with the legacies of both Houston and would-be actress Princess Diana, perhaps Costner will leave it behind and focus on the next phase of his career. After all, Costner doesn’t need a hit like he did in 1997, as Yellowstone has turned into a popular series for the Paramount Network.
Source: People TV