Plans for the comedic sequel Mrs. Doubtfire 2 are in limbo, according to sources close to the production, though it’s likely that the project will be shelved in the wake of Robin Williams’ recent death.
Sources spoke to Variety and told the trade that no decision has been made on the future of the in-development project, but the site went so far as to say that Mrs. Doubtfire 2 likely won’t move forward without Williams in the title role.
And that’s the right decision. As we have pointed out, Chris Columbus’ Mrs. Doubtfire is one of Robin Williams’ seminal roles, a broad but insightful family comedy that embraced the difficult conversation of divorce and put a fresh face on it. Granted, that face was one made of latex, modeled after a stately old British woman. But the messages of self-sacrifice and love permeated the strange conceit at the heart of Mrs. Doubtfire, helping the movie earn the No. 2 slot on the box office chart for all of 1993 (behind only Jurassic Park).
Because of the popularity of Mrs. Doubtfire, and of Robin Williams, you can understand the industry’s desire to try and reunite the team for a second story. We reported back in April that Mrs. Doubtfire 2 was in the planning stages, and that Robin Williams was attached. David Berenbaum was hired to draft a screenplay, and he tells Variety that he met with Williams recently, and was hard at work on a second draft.
Chris Columbus made no mention of the sequel in his statement on Robin Williams’ death, saying:
He truly was one of the few people who deserved the title of ‘genius.’ We were friends for 21 years. Our children grew up together, he inspired us to spend our lives in San Francisco and I loved him like a brother. The world was a better place with Robin in it. And his beautiful legacy will live on forever."
Berenbaum, in an email to HuffPo, praised Robin Williams as "a once in a lifetime, singular voice." But no mention on the status of the sequel.
Let’s all agree that Mrs. Doubtfire 2 should not happen. It wasn’t even the best idea with Robin Williams involved, but at least his creativity would have kept us interested in the continuing story of this fractured family. Now that Robin Williams no longer is with us, the project needs to go back on a shelf, or away in a drawer. Leave the original as part of his legacy, and don’t try to replicate magic now that the magician has left the stage.