Could Elizabeth Olsen really have stepped in as Michelle Tanner for Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen on Fuller House?
Sorta. That's the answer creator Jeff Franklin just gave E! News today, confirming that he did consider casting Elizabeth when Mary-Kate and Ashley declined appearing.
"Personally, I was very disappointed that Mary-Kate or Ashley didn't want to come and join us," Franklin exclusively tells E! News. "I understand why and no hard feelings, but I really was hoping to get that picture. And in our moment of disappointment, John Stamos and I talked about what to do and we thought for a moment, what if? We've known Elizabeth since she was a little girl."
So Franklin made a call to Elizabeth's agent, however, he clarifies: "It was not an offer, it was just an inquiry floating out whether there was even a point to this idea. I didn't know if it was a good idea or a bad idea. And I thought it through, and it was in my head, so I thought I would just see if it was even worth thinking about. It was not really a good idea. It wasn't."
Assuming Fuller House goes a second season, Franklin is not giving up on getting Michelle Tanner. "I am still hopeful that Mary-Kate or Ashley or both of them will come back and be a part of it, even if it's just for an hour. We miss that. Everybody does feel that hole in the family. But it's like, all family reunions, there's always somebody that doesn't show up. But hopefully next time around, we'll have them back."
In the first episode, when the whole Tanner family is back together, in front of a cheering live audience, someone asks "Where's Michelle?" and it's explained that she's "too busy with her clothing line." Then the whole cast looks at camera and gives a disdainful look. "It wasn't meant tot be a dig," Franklin told reporters in a panel at TCA press tour, "it was meant to be a playful wink."
The first episode also has a touching final tribute that could make you tear up if you are a mom, or have a mom...i.e. are a human. It ends with a nod to the moms of Jeff Franklin, John Stamos, Bob Saget and Dave Coulier, saying "They would have loved this."
"It was about two years ago that I lost my mother," Franklin tells E! News, "and then within eight months, John, Bob and Dave all lost their mothers as well. It was a really crazy, difficult nine months and we spent it together, helping each other. Even back in the day, our extended families were part of our Full House family, so we all knew each other's mothers and that was tough. And the truth is, that's the only sad part about this, is they really would have loved to see us all come back together. My mom knew I was trying to get this thing to happen for so long. It's...bittersweet."
Fuller House drops Feb. 26 on Netflix.