Per Deadline, production of “The Jewel of the Nile” started off on a very bad foot. Kathleen Turner was not pleased with the shape the script was in — she felt that it was not complete. She was also set to be in the movie “The Money Pit,” a role that Shelly Long wound up taking alongside Tom Hanks. Michael Douglas had to sue Turner in order for her to honor the contract to star in the sequel. The lawsuit most likely led to bruised feelings, even though the two were professional enough not to let that carry over into their acting. Turner joined the movie after the ruling.
Death hung over the filming, though. According to AP News, writer Diane Thomas, who penned the screenplay for the first film, died in a car accident in 1985 right before “The Jewel of the Nile” came out. Interestingly, Douglas had gifted the car to her not long before the accident, per IMDb. That was far from the tragedies that would befell the crew. Douglas was in Morocco for pre-production, and there was a plane crash that saw several crew members perish. That created a pall over the set. Then, just as they were getting ready to leave Morocco, there was an outbreak of hepatitis that required them to quarantine before going to a new location — which wound up costing the studio a lot of money.
It seems that more people remember “Romancing the Stone” over its sequel. Given its tragic history, perhaps that is for the better.