Although the setup reads as slightly dodgy nowadays, for millions of women worldwide, 1990’s Pretty Woman remains a cultural touchstone. The premise finds Richard Gere’s wealthy but emotionally stunted businessman, Edward, paying for a weekend with Julia Roberts’ prostitute-with-a-heart-of-gold, Vivian, only for the duo to fall madly in love. Hardly the classic rom-com setup but, as The Guardian noted in a 30th anniversary reappraisal, the movie was a major showcase for the leads’ natural charm.
As Vanity Fair notes, Pretty Woman originally had a much darker ending. That film idea, which was originally titled 3,000 for the amount of money Edward pays Vivian for her company, finishes with the sex worker and her BFF sitting on a bus bound for Disneyland — their trip financed by the money she’s earned with Edward — while Vivian “stares out emptily ahead.” Thankfully, a more magical ending was brainstormed, which made the movie the classic it is today. So, what are the chances of a sequel happening?
Pretty Woman technically already has a follow-up
Star Jason Alexander, who plays the weaselly Stuckey in the movie, was asked about the possibility of a Pretty Woman sequel during an interview with Us Weekly, admitting it definitely seemed like a possibility for a while, back in the day. However, it’s unlikely the film would ever happen because “If you ask the inner circle of the people who made it, they look at Runaway Bride as the sequel.” The Seinfeld legend explained, “Even though it’s not the same story, they feel like that is the follow-up to Pretty Woman because it’s the same group of people, for the most part.” As a result, Alexander is confident we won’t see a Pretty Woman 2.
The 1999 rom-com reunited Gere and Roberts with director Garry Marshall, who also helmed Pretty Woman. Gere plays a journalist doing a story on Roberts’ commitment-phobic small-town beauty. Once again, they fall madly in love and live happily ever after. On why Pretty Woman still resonates today, Alexander reasoned, “it is a testament, I believe to the mind of Gary Marshall and the amazing winning charm and talent of Julia Roberts and Richard Gere.” He credited his co-stars for turning it “into something that is undeniably loving and fun and beautiful despite sort of the ugliness of where it occurs.” The Seinfeld alum added, “I don’t know a lot of films like it that have that kind of staying power.”
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