Following the Oscar winner sharing with E!'s Daily Pop in November that a sequel to the popular 2003 comedy would seem to be "teed up" to explore, director Donald Petrie exclusively tells E! News he is flattered that Matthew has positive memories from the project that co-starred Kate Hudson. But the filmmaker, who is also known for helming such flicks as 1988's Mystic Pizza and 2000's Miss Congeniality, admits he has learned to never get his hopes up in this business.
"I've heard for years they're gonna reboot Mystic Pizza, and we did that in 1988," he says with a laugh. "Matthew, I think, was duly concerned about having a career as a comic leading man in the rom-com world. And has went on in spades to prove he is a real actor to be reckoned with. So it's of the highest compliment that I could possibly take to think that that's the one movie he would consider going back and revisiting."
Donald believes that How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, which hit its 18-year anniversary this February, has remained relevant because it offers commentary on gender politics while also appealing to men.
"Personally, I think it's because, unlike a lot of rom-coms, it really said something about men and women, and 'men are from Mars, women are from Venus,' and how we react opposite each other," he continues. "I think the first review about How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days that the late, great David Sheehan wrote, kind of summed it up. He wrote, 'The ultimate chick flick—for guys.' Because men liked it as much as women did, which is not always the case with rom-coms. They tend to be in the world of, OK, women are our primary audience."
As for any traction with a sequel, Donald admits he hasn't heard of a script being developed and has yet to even put any thought into what a possible plot might entail. But he makes it clear the fate of the follow-up would ultimately depend on the words on the page.
"I'd be open to it, but it all comes down to the script, frankly," shares the director, who also helmed 1993's Grumpy Old Men. "It would seem to me, if I was the studio and I was gonna do a sequel to How to Lose, the first thing I gotta do is lock up the cast. Getting the director is easy, but getting both Kate and Matthew to agree on a script—that's the tough part."
While we wait impatiently for this to happen, celebrate How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days' 18th anniversary with 18 secrets from the film.