''I usually don't do Roman numerals,'' says director Garry Marshall of the follow-up to his 2001 hit. Ultimately, it was the lure of the same cast that persuaded him to continue the tale of Princess Mia in Genovia (that, and maybe the original's $108 million BO take).
So fast-forward to five years after the original ended. Mia has graduated from college and is ready to rule her kingdom. But there's a rub. ''A law is uncovered that, in order to become queen, a woman has to become married,'' explains star Anne Hathaway. ''Basically, Mia has 30 days to either find a husband or abdicate the throne.''
One of the challenges early on in the $53 million production: choosing the backdrop that was to serve as the fictional European country of Genovia. ''There was talk about going to Czechoslovakia and shooting it in Prague, because it has a lot of castles,'' says Marshall. ''But to be very honest with you, I took one look at the world and said, 'Genovia's in Burbank.''' Another obstacle: finding suitable love interests. ''We auditioned all over the place,'' says Marshall. They finally decided upon Callum Blue (''Dead Like Me'') and Chris Pine, a casting decision the 21-year-old Hathaway had no problems with. ''If the boys you're kissing are Callum Blue and Chris Pine, it's hard to complain about your life.''
Also reprising her role as Queen Clarisse was movie legend Julie Andrews -- and this time she sings! ''Well,'' she clarifies, ''it's more of a sing-speak. I don't want people to think, 'Oh, she's singing again!' because anything like 'The Sound of Music' is just impossible.'' Tomato, tomahto. Apparently, Andrews' voice can still command a room. ''We all just stopped,'' says Hathaway of the scene. ''I was crying, along with the 300-pound grips. We were all holding each other and swaying and being like, 'This is so special!'''
THE GOOD NEWS The original cast is back!
THE BAD NEWS Does anyone outside of the 12-year-old set care?