Julia Roberts Reveals She Thought ‘Ticket to Paradise’ Could Only Work With George Clooney

Julia Roberts is set to return to the big screen in a romantic comedy for the first time in 20 years. While fans long suspected that she stepped away from the genre because she no longer had an interest in acting in romantic comedies, that, apparently, is not the case. Roberts recently revealed that she hadn’t seen a script good enough until Ticket to Paradise. Even then, with a solid script, Roberts had her doubts. She said George Clooney’s buy-in ultimately helped her settle into the project.

The stars aligned for the upcoming Julia Roberts rom-com, ‘Ticket to Paradise’

Roberts hadn’t exactly been on the hunt for a romantic comedy project, but when Ticket to Paradise came across her desk, she knew it was special. She told The Independent that she had read plenty of scripts, but none of them had a defining characteristic that made her want to sign on.

She liked Ticket to Paradise but wasn’t entirely sold on it. Roberts told the publication that she thought the movie could only work with George Clooney. She said, “But even with that, I thought, well, disaster, because this only works if it’s George Clooney. Lo and behold, George felt it only worked with me. Somehow we were both able to do it, and off we went.”

‘Ticket to Paradise’ was written with Clooney and Roberts in mind 

While the stars seemed to align to propel the project forward, it wasn’t entirely serendipitous. The flick was actually written with Clooney and Roberts in mind, admits producer Tim Bevan. 

Clooney and Roberts have a history of working together, but never in a romantic comedy. The famed actors first appeared together in Oceans Eleven in 2001. They last connected in 2016 for Money Monster

George Clooney and Julia Roberts attends at the photocall for 'Money Monster'
George Clooney and Julia Roberts | Felix Hörhager/picture alliance via Getty Images

In Money Monster, Clooney took on the role of Lee Gates, a financial TV host who an angry investor takes hostage. Roberts portrayed Patty Fenn, the show’s producer. Jack O’Connell played the angry investor. Jodie Foster directed the movie. 

What is ‘Ticket to Paradise’ about? 

While the megastars’ official roles have not been released, it appears as though Roberts and Clooney will portray the parents of a recent college graduate. According to IMDb, the flick will follow Wren Butler and her friend, Lily, as they travel to Bali and fall in love with locals. Dismayed by their child’s decision to marry quickly, Lily’s parents travel to Bali to talk some sense into their daughter. Billie Lourd is set to take on the role of Wren, while Kaitlyn Dever has been tapped for the part of Lily.

The flick began filming in Queensland, Australia, in late 2021. Filming was put on hold in January 2022 after a coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. According to Deadline, the production studio opted to pause the production for three months while Australia dealt with the outbreak. Ticket to Paradise is tentatively set for an October 2022 release. 

RELATED: Richard Gere Had to Be Convinced to Play Edward Lewis in ‘Pretty Woman’