Jennifer Lopez and Matthew McConaughey made “The Wedding Planner” the beloved rom-com it is today, but two other actors were originally set to star in the film.
When the movie was in the beginning stages, and associated with the now defunct Fine Line Features, Minnie Driver was set as Mary Fiore, director Adam Shankman confirmed in an interview with Yahoo! Entertainment.
“Fine Line was trying to get into more of a commercial market, and they really liked this script,” Shankman shared. “The plot was essentially the same, but it was going to be a very low-budget indie movie.”
Driver’s appearance in the film, which just celebrated its 20th anniversary, then failed to happen. Meanwhile, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Sarah Michelle Gellar and Freddie Prinze Jr. were also linked to the roles.
“Those actors were people who were talked about, but no one was ever officially cast,” Shankman said.
The filmmaker added that Lopez was eventually cast as Mary, with the part of Dr. Steve Edison originally going to Brendan Fraser.
“I had been working with Brendan a lot as a choreographer — we did everything from ‘George of the Jungle’ to ‘Mrs. Winterbourne’ together. So I talked to him, and he was in,” Shankman told the publication. “But then he switched agencies while we were negotiating, and the new agency pulled him out of our movie and into ‘Bedazzled’.
“That was a really dark day for me, because we were a month-and-a-half away from starting rehearsal and we had sold the movie on Jennifer and Brendan.”
The only actor available to shoot the movie was McConaughey, who ended up being the perfect choice as he and Lopez “got on like wildfire.”
Shankman gushed, “I have never seen two people who, on the surface, are more different than Jennifer Lopez and Matthew McConaughey, but they were absolutely adorable together.
“They had very different processes, but they allowed each other the space and freedom to work those processes.”
Lopez and McConaughey recently celebrated the much-loved movie turning 20 with a social media reunion.