Diana was going to star in my movie -- Costner

Jonathan Gray

THE princess would have had a role specially written for her for the film, provisionally entitled Bodyguard 2, following in the footsteps of the late Whitney Houston in the original movie.

Costner, who produced the 1992 film, said: "Diana and I had been talking about doing Bodyguard 2. I told her I would take care of her just the same way that I took care of Whitney.

"She wanted me to write it for her. I said 'I'll tailor it for you if you're interested.' She goes: 'I am interested.'"

The actor told ABC's Anderson show in the US that the Bodyguard 2 would have featured his character, former special agent turned bodyguard Frank Farmer, protecting the princess from paparazzi and stalkers before embarking on a steamy affair with her.

He revealed that the script was delivered to him on August 31 1997 -- the day before Princess Diana died of injuries she sustained in a car crash in Paris at the age of 36.

The original Bodyguard was one of the highest grossing films of the 1990s, and its soundtrack, featuring Houston singing the Dolly Parton song I Will Always Love You, became the bestselling soundtrack of all time, moving more than 42 million copies.

Costner himself had insisted Houston sing the track, overruling producers who wanted a more upbeat number. Delivering the eulogy at Houston's funeral in February, Costner spoke movingly how he had helped the young singer, in her first movie role, overcome her nerves.

The movie was originally written by Lawrence Kasdan as a vehicle for Steve McQueen and Diana Ross in the 1970s, but never made it to the big screen before being revived by Costner.

Last year, Warner Brothers was reported to be planning a new sequel, featuring an Iraq war veteran bodyguard struggling to protect his client from a stalker in the age of Twitter and other social media.

See Terry Prone, P14