It's hard to imagine anyone but Julia Roberts and Richard Gere starring in Pretty Woman.
And yet, as the actors revealed to Today's Matt Lauer in a pre-taped interview Tuesday, the movie was almost made without them. The co-stars, plus director Garry Marshall and actors Hector Elizondo and Laura San Giacomo, came together for the first time since the romantic comedy was released in 1990.
The original script was neither a romance nor a comedy. Instead, it was a dark, cautionary tale about drug abuse called 3000, a reference to "how much money she got paid," Roberts said of her character, a kind-hearted prostitute named Vivian Ward. "At the end of the original script, Richard's character threw my character out of the car, threw the money on top of her and drove away and the credits rolled."
The script changed after Marshall was brought in and the movie was sold to Disney. "I was cast in 3000, before it went to Garry, and over a happy weekend of having a job, it was sold to Disney and I was out of a job," Roberts recalled. The producers pushed for Marshall to stick with Roberts, who was an up-and-coming star. "I didn't know her from Adam, from anybody," Marshall said. "She was 21 years old. Hello!"