It has been one year since the death of Robin Williams, and amid all the remembrances for the actor, it’s worth taking note of what might have been. Amid the many projects Williams had in development when he took his own life was a return to one of his most beloved movies: a sequel to 1993’s Mrs. Doubtfire, about a down-on-his-luck father trying to return to his kids’ lives by posing as an elderly female nanny.
The project was more than just rumor, director Chris Columbus (Pixels, Home Alone) told EW recently. “No, we were involved with it because it was something Robin and I always talked about,” he said.
The idea for a sequel first came up in the early 2000s, but then neither Williams nor Columbus was happy with the concept. So more than 20 years passed before their interest was reignited. “We said for years that we would never do it,” Columbus said. “Then somebody came up with a really interesting idea, and we agreed to develop a script.”
Memories of that time, just a little over a year ago, are now bittersweet for the filmmaker. “That was the last time I saw Robin, sadly, when we were talking about the sequel to Mrs. Doubtfire,” he says.
There is no chance of revisiting with a different actor. No one wants that – not the filmmakers, not the audience, and not even the studio. Mrs. Doubtfire belonged only to Robin Williams. “It definitely will never happen now,” Columbus said.
What might it have been? Maybe someday we’ll find out, but Columbus said he didn’t even want to hint at the story that lured them both back.
“It’s so delicate,” said Columbus. “I’d love to talk about it, but it’s really too difficult at this point.”
Here’s a look back at the original Mrs. Doubtfire, and one of Williams’ most memorable performances.